Home Indianapolis Press Releases 2013 Week in Review—Hammond

Week in Review—Hammond

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 22, 2013
  • Northern District of Indiana (219) 937-5500

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

Indictments:

November 20, 2013:

  • Octavio Casas-Garcia, 45, of Hammond, Indiana, was charged with illegal re-entry after removal for a felony conviction. This charge was filed as the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Philip Benson.
  • Mark Bartell, 27, of Gary, Indiana, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. This charge was filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives HIDTA Task Force. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

November 21, 2013:

  • Schickell Best, 25, of Gary, Indiana, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. This charge was filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Gary Police Department. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.
  • Jermel Washington, 37, of Gary, Indiana, was charged with possession of an unregistered short barreled shotgun. This charge was filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Gary Police Department. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.
  • Carmalita Stewart-Cannon, 47, of Gary, Indiana, was charged with distribution of heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Gary Police Department. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.
  • Nathan Huey-Dingle, 32, of South Bend, Indiana, was charged with two counts of sex trafficking by threats of force and two counts of transporting across state lines with the intent to engage in prostitution. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Pleas:

  • Shanise Kelley, 30, of Michigan City, Indiana, pled guilty before District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to the felony offense of mail fraud. Sentencing has been set for February 13, 2014. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Toi Houston.
  • Joshua Mijares, 34, of Griffith, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to the felony offense of unlawful re-entry after a previous formal deportation. 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 Randall Stewart.

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:

  • Yohinnest Herrod, 23, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to one day, considered time served, and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of making false statements in the purchase of three firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer. 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 Nicholas Padilla.
  • Jeffrey Youngheim, 47, of Portage, Indiana, and Richard Loveless, 52, Gary, Indiana, defendants in the case U.S. v Chandler et al., were sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen this week. Youngheim and Loveless both pled guilty to the felony offense of wire fraud. Youngheim was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. Loveless was sentenced to15 months of imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and a $50,000 fine. According to documents filed in this case, Youngheim participated in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme designed to unjustly enrich himself and his business partner Loveless (among others) to the detriment of neighboring homeowners in Gary, Indiana, and taxpayers generally. Individuals who were recruited to buy most of the houses sold in the scheme were first-time home buyers with little practical experience in the field of real estate and with limited to no familiarity with the Gary, Indiana real estate market. Nearly everything said to induce buyers to buy these houses was a lie. They were told the houses were good investments when in fact they were in disrepair. They were told the houses would be rehabilitated when in fact few, if any, of the necessary repairs were actually completed. Little effort was made to keep the promises after the first month or two of mortgage payments had been made. Youngheim and Loveless and/or a trust held for the benefit of their joint business, Property Liquidators Inc., owned five of the 25 properties sold in the scheme. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster.
  • Carlos Canales, 34, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 12 months and one of day imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of cocaine. According to documents filed in this case, Canales conducted several drug-related transactions with several individuals over a one year period. 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 Jacqueline Jacobs.