Week in Review—South Bend
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 05, 2012|
SOUTH BEND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced that:
- Paul Minix, 49, of Winimac, Indiana, pled guilty before District Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Sentencing has been set for January 10, 2013. These charges were filed as a result of an investigation by the by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
- Karla Selene Ruelas, 22, of South Bend, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein to the felony offense of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Magistrate Nuechterlein is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea. Parties have 10 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. Sentencing has been set for January 9, 2013. These charges were filed as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth Hays.
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.
- Jason Strell, 39, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Jon DeGuilio to 188 months’ imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of enticement of a minor for production of child pornography. In his plea agreement, Strell admitted that in May or June, 2011, posing as a 17-year-old boy on an Internet chat site, he chatted with a 15-year-old girl who lived in Ohio. Subsequently, he spoke and texted with her by cellular telephone. Even though the victim informed him she was a minor, he persuaded her to send him nude photos of her. When Strell later asked the victim for more nude photos, she refused. In July 2011, he requested by text message that the victim send additional photos, threatening that if she did not send more photos, he would post the previously sent nude photos on the Internet. Strell told the victim to look for a particular website in the next few days on which he would post her nude photos to be viewed by others living in her area. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the St. Joseph County Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Maciejczyk.
- David Ziesel, 33, of Elburn, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Jon DeGuilio to 78 months’ imprisonment, restitution of $102,967.23 and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of aggravated bank robbery of the LaPorte Savings Bank and use of a dangerous weapon. According to his Plea Agreement, Zeisel admitted that he entered the LaPorte Savings Bank with the intent to rob the bank of money that was held in the bank. He walked up to the teller counter, pointed a gun at the teller, and demanded money. He directed the teller to get down on the ground with the gun pointed at her. He also ordered three other bank employees working in the vicinity to get down on the ground. He then jumped the counter and went into the vault where he found two other employees inside the vault. He brandished the gun at these employees and demanded money from inside the vault. He then fled the bank in his vehicle. A LaPorte County Sheriff Officer’s vehicle was damaged during the pursuit. Zeisel threw the money he took from the bank out the car window, along with the gun he used and clothing he wore while in the bank. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Brook.