Home Indianapolis Press Releases 2013 Week in Review—Hammond

Week in Review—Hammond

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 24, 2013
  • Northern District of Indiana (219) 937-5500

HAMMOND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in federal court:

Plea:

  • Darmaile Sutton, 29, of East Chicago, Indiana, a defendant in the case U.S. v Briseno et al., pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity. Sentencing has been set for August 21, 2013. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the East Chicago Police Department, with assistance from the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, and the Lake County HIDTA. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Nozick.

Dispositions:

  • Justin Weaver, 20, of Hammond, Indiana, a defendant in the case U.S. v Briseno et al., was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 63 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of conspiracy to commit racketeering activity. According to documents filed by the government in this case, Weaver possessed a gun and shot three rival gang members, in furtherance of the gang activity and drug sales of the Imperial Gangsters. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the East Chicago Police Department, with assistance from the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, and the Lake County HIDTA. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Nozick.
  • Earkle Tyler, 36, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 87 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of cocaine base. According to documents filed by the government in this case, after a controlled buy, a federal search warrant was executed at Tyler’s residence. Investigators recovered a small amount of crack cocaine and items indicative of drug distribution (cutting agent, plastic baggies for packaging, digital scales, and approximately $3,000). This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang Adiga.
  • Aaron Sokolowski, 27, of Hobart, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to three years of supervised release, to include 18 months of home detention after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. According to documents filed by the government in this case, the Hobart Police Department responded to a shooting at the Sokowloski’s residence. The shooting was a result of one of his drug customers carrying a firearm to a drug deal. Sokolowski admitted to selling approximately a half a pound of marijuana a week for three to four years, making $500 to $1,000 a week from the sales and, on at least one occasion, driving with his source of supply with approximately 16 pounds of marijuana and $55,000 in the vehicle. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Kolar.
  • Christopher Cannon, 45, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 30 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and $14,000 in restitution after being found guilty at trial of the felony offense of mail fraud by filing an insurance claim with Farmers Insurance Company after the destruction of his insured residence to obtain settlement money for living expenses to be paid to cover rent based on false information, including the name of the landlord, the address of the rental location, and the amount of money charged. According to documents filed by the government in this case, Cannon has four felony convictions and over 10 other significant convictions prior to being charged in this case. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall Stewart.
  • Elias Gaytan, 38, of San Antonio, Texas, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 41 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration HIDTA Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jacqueline Jacobs.