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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 5, 2014

Week In Review – South Bend


           South Bend, Indiana — The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:

PLEAS

  • Jared Marshall, 36, of La Porte, Indiana pled guilty to the felony offense of knowingly distributing heroin. The magistrate judge is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea.  Parties have 14 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration.  Sentencing has been set for March 12, 2015.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.

If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

DISPOSITIONS

  • Aaron Mendoza, 34, of South Bend, Indiana was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to the felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.  According to documents filed in this case, on March 4, 2014, Menodza possessed a SCCY 9mmhandgun in his home in St. Joseph County, Indiana. It is undisputed that Mendoza is illegally in the United States and that this firearm had traveled through interstate or foreign commerce.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
  • Santiago R. Ortiz-Ruvalcaba, 19, of South Bend, Indiana was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment with 2 years supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm while under indictment.  According to documents filed in this case, on April 2, 2014, the defendant was driving when he was pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign. The defendant fled from police and during the pursuit the defendant jumped out of his vehicle, without putting the car in park, and the car collided with a parked school bus that was dropping off kids.  When stopped by police, officers found marijuana on the defendant and a short distance away also found a loaded black semi-automatic handgun with the hammer cocked next to the defendant’s hat. When the defendant was patted down, he had a loaded black gun magazine with live rounds wrapped in a yellow bandana. The defendant admitted he was fleeing from police while he held the loaded weapon he used for protection.    This case was the result of an investigation by the South Bend Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
  • Ryan Dean Smith, 28, of Peru, Indiana was sentenced to 34 months imprisonment with 2 years supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  According to documents filed in this case, on August 3, 2013, the Wabash Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by defendant Ryan Smith. Smith was stopped for exceeding the speed limit and for traveling down a section of roadway that was marked as a closed road. Smith, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was found to a have a shotgun lying on the front passenger seat of the vehicle.  The shotgun, and other contents of the truck, belonged to Smith. The officer who stopped Smith asked him if he was a felon. Smith told the officer he had convictions for burglary and theft.  Smith was given a ticketed, released at the scene but his vehicle was impounded.  During an inventory search of the vehicle prior to it being impounded, officers also found a baggie containing 35 Nucyntra pills, a Schedule II narcotic, in the area of the seat between the front passenger and drivers’ seat.  The narcotic pills, plastic baggies, and the shotgun were all collected as evidence by the police.  Mr. Smith has prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property (2006), burglary (2006), and residential entry (2014).   This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.
Updated April 30, 2015