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Press Release

Two Area Men Charged With Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana CELL: (219) 314-9993

Hammond, Indiana-United States Attorney David Capp announced that Oscar Cosme, 40, of East Chicago, Indiana, and Kiontay Pennington, 34, of Gary, Indiana, were charged by Complaint with allegedly committing murder resulting from the use and carrying of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and aiding and abetting the same.

According to the Complaint, on May 16, 2003, Pennington, Cosme and others shot to death Julio Cartagena in front of an apartment complex in East Chicago in retaliation for the theft of narcotics.East Chicago police were nearby and began a chase of the vehicle fleeing from the scene that ended in a high impact crash.Pennington and Cosme were identified as two of the four occupants of the vehicle.A subsequent investigation revealed that the underlying narcotics theft involved a street gang, the “Two Six”, which was active in East Chicago at that time.

Cosme was arrested on August 23, 2013.Pennington was arrested this morning at his residence.Both had their initial appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge John Martin in Hammond and are scheduled for probable cause/detention hearings on August 29, 2013 at 9:00 and 9:30 AM.

United States Attorney Capp stated, “These arrests are part of our ongoing effort to remove violent offenders from the streets, particularly those allegedly associated with criminal street gangs.We will continue to investigate violent acts, even those, like here, that are more than ten years old.As I have stated publicly in the past, we are coming after those who are or were members of, or affiliated with, criminal organizations, regardless of when their criminal conduct may have occurred.”

These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Merrillville Field Office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives HIDTA Taskforce, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the East Chicago Police Department.This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Nozick.

The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that a Complaint is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Updated April 30, 2015