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Press Release

Week In Review – Hammond

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana

Hammond, Indiana - The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:


Manuel Montalvo, 39, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 24 months of probation, with home detention of 4 months, and a $1000.00 fine after pleading guilty to the felony offense of filing a false tax return for the tax year 2009.According to documents filed in this case, Montalvo admitted that he provided false information about deductions including that he had $23,382 in business expenses and $17,063 in medical expenses.In fact, both figures were made up. Montalvo filed the false returns while employed as the Director of East Chicago Public Library. This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell.

Alexander Vargas, 36, of Highland, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 276 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering activity, one count of narcotics conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering and two counts of murder resulting from the use of a firearm in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking.According to the indictment, the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States, including to Texas. The Latin Kings is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is comprised of regions that include multiple chapters.The indictments filed in these cases allege that the Latin Kings gang was responsible for at least 19 murders in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area and Big Spring, Texas. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center; the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Chicago Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Griffith Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the Highland Police Department; and the Houston Police Department.The investigation of the Chicago Police Department officers was conducted by Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force, a Chicago Police Department- Internal Affairs and FBI - Chicago law enforcement initiative.This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Nozick, and Joseph A. Cooley, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice - Organized Crime and Gang Section.

Updated April 30, 2015