U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Indiana
(219) 937-5500
December 23, 2014

Admitted Gang Member Sentenced on Federal Racketeering Charges

HAMMOND—A resident of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced today to serve 300 months in prison on federal racketeering charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David A. Capp for the Northern District of Indiana made the announcement. The sentence was imposed today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Philip P. Simon.

Salvador Chavez a/k/a “Black,” “Dirty Sal” 35, was part of a 24-defendant indictment alleging that members of the Imperial Gangsters committed 14 previously-uncharged homicides: 12 in East Chicago, Indiana, one in Hammond, Indiana, and one in Gary, Indiana. The indictment also charged a decade-long racketeering conspiracy that involved the attempted murder of 19 other victims and the large scale distribution of cocaine and marijuana.

Chavez pleaded guilty on January 13, 2014, to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.

After a contested evidentiary hearing, the court found that the government had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Chavez was responsible for the murder of Guadalupe Trevino. Vincent Garza and Jason Medina had previously pled guilty for their roles in that homicide.

Chavez is one of 22 defendants charged in the indictment to plead guilty. One defendant, Richard Reyes, was convicted by a jury of murder, conspiracy to commit racketeering activity, and weapons offenses on Jan. 24, 2014.

The remaining defendant’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2015.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the FBI, and the East Chicago Police Department, with assistance from the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department and the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Nozick of the Northern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Bruce R. Hegyi of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section.

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