SOUTH BEND – Five individuals from Elkhart, Indiana were charged by way of a 2 count Indictment with robbery affecting interstate commerce and using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
“I commend the FBI, in addition to the other agencies that participated in solving this case,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “Violent crimes, like those alleged, will be thoroughly investigated by our law enforcement partners and prosecuted by my Office.”
According to documents in this case, it is alleged that a small group known as the ChoppaBoyz robbed a homeowner on June 9, 2020. During the robbery, the homeowner was shot in the leg. The homeowner along with another person on the property were also allegedly beaten repeatedly with handguns while the robbers asked about the location of a safe in the home. The robbers stole the safe, drugs, money, a handgun, and jewelry. After the police arrived, they obtained a search warrant for the residence and discovered it to have cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills onsite that were overlooked by the robbers. The statements the robbers made, including asking for an AR-15 pistol that was recently traded, gave the victims an idea of who the robbers were. Based on this and other information: Marco Fernandez (age 24); Jose Trigo (age 20); Juantio Gould (24); Carlos Reyes (age 20); and Emmanuel Martinez-Guevara (age 20) were each indicted for robbery affecting interstate commerce and using, carrying, and discharging a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.
“This indictment is an example of the investigative focus on violence in our communities and the impact of collaboration among agencies in which crimes cross state lines,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, “The FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force will continue to work with our partners the Elkhart Police Department, the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department, and the South Bend Police Department to pursue those who commit these violent crimes and take them off our streets.”
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons are presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, South Bend Police Department, Elkhart County Intelligence and Covert Enforcement Unit, and Cedar City Utah Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Gabrielse.