Home Indianapolis Press Releases 2013 Week in Review—Hammond

Week in Review—Hammond

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 01, 2013
  • Northern District of Indiana (219) 937-5500

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

Pleas:

  • Heriberto Hernandez-Fraye, 34, of East Chicago, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of re-entry of a deported alien. Sentencing has been set for January 29, 2014. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Philip Benson.
  • Jose Mariscal-Rivas, 42, of Indianapolis, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing has been set for Janaury 28, 2014. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.
  • Cahleb Smith-Conrad, 22, of Delphi, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge James Moody to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department; and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean Lanter.

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:

  • Antonio Collins, 35, of Merrillville, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 57 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement saw a vehicle parked in Collin’s driveway and observed the vehicle leave the premises and then fail to stop at a stop sign. The car was pulled over, and the driver admitted he had marijuana in the car and that he had purchased the marijuana from Collins at his home. Using this information law enforcement obtained a state search warrant for Mr. Collins home. During the search officers found a false wall in the bathroom under some shelving. Within the false wall was a duffel bag containing eight sealed bags with a green, leafy substance and two guns. Collins admitted that he deals marijuana from his house. Collins has a prior felony conviction for possession of cocaine. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Merrillville Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.
  • Brian Washington, 23, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 123 months’ imprisonment and four years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offenses of distribution of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement found that Washington was selling large quantities of guns and drugs from a home in Gary. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.
  • Styles Taylor, 33, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to lifetime imprisonment, 5 years of supervised release and $11,275.97 in restitution after being found guilty at trial of the felony offenses of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by threat of violence, use of a firearm to cause death during a crime of violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to documents filed in this case, Taylor and Keon Thomas robbed and murdered Frank Freund, Sr. to obtain numerous firearms to enhance their stature in the drug dealing community and to possibly trade some of the firearms for cocaine. When the trade deal fell through, the defendants began to sell the firearms throughout the Hammond area to any willing buyer, further endangering the citizens of the Hammond region. Mr. Freund, owner of Firearms Unlimited Gun Shop, was a 72-year-old veteran who had a pacemaker and was virtually deaf. Mr. Freund was murdered execution-style: shot from very close range inside his place of business. Taylor is a three-time convicted felon who was involved in drug trafficking, the armed robbery of Fast Lane Foods causing serious bodily injury, one attempted murder of a pizza delivery man, an actual murder (Mr. Freund), and two other burglaries as a juvenile. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Hammond Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Philip Benson and David Nozick.
  • David Beach, 25, of West Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 120 months’ imprisonment, 30 years of supervised release, and to pay $500 in restitution to the named victims after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of child pornography. According to documents filed in this case, investigators observed that an individual later identified as Beach was downloading files containing images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. A search warrant was issued authorizing law enforcement to search Beach’s residence where at least 60 images depicting child pornography were found. Beach later admitted that he possessed more than 600 such images, that he distributed the material in return for more child pornography, and that this child pornography depicted minor children who had not yet begun puberty. All told, the government recovered 1,637 images and three videos depicting child pornography from Beach’s computer. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police, and the Kokomo Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster.