SOUTH BEND – Warren B. Heath, III, age 51, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. on his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.
Heath was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.
According to documents in the case, in March 2022, Pokagon tribal police found Heath in a minivan parked in the Four Winds-South Bend casino lot. The odor of marijuana was detected coming from the vehicle. Heath did not comply with a request to step out of the vehicle. Instead, he placed his van into reverse, and backed into a Pokagon tribal police patrol vehicle. Heath then actively resisted arrest. A loaded handgun was found under Heath’s jacket which was later determined to have been reported stolen in Michigan. A second loaded handgun was recovered from Heath’s minivan along with a small amount of marijuana and cocaine.
United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson said, “Mr. Heath’s crime, being a felon in possession of firearms, raises an additional and important concern for the government because his crime occurred on federally recognized Indian tribal land, held in trust for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The United States recognizes a unique obligation of service to tribal communities across the country, and it holds a strong commitment to supporting and furthering public safety on all tribal land. The United States Attorney’s Office has an important relationship with the Pokagon Band and is committed to working with the Pokagon Band to foster public safety and the safety of its tribal citizens, while respecting the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty and culture.”
“The conviction of Warren Heath is a great example of team work between the Pokagon Band Tribal Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said William Lux, Chief of Police, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Tribal Police. “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign nation that is committed to working with our law enforcement partners within the Department of Justice to protect all who visit the Tribe’s trust land and to prosecute those who violate the law on Pokagon land.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pokagon Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke N. Reilander.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.