U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Indiana
(219) 937-5500
July 18, 2014

Week in Review—Hammond

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

Plea

  • Gerardo Mendez, 27, pled guilty to the felony offense of knowingly and with intent to defraud passing counterfeited obligations. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. Sentencing has not been set. 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

  • Christopher Chico, 26 years old, of Blue Island, Illinois, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release, after pleading guilty to the felony offense of Narcotics – Distribution of Cocaine. According to documents filed in this case, on May 23, 2012, Chico, a member of the Latin Dragons street gang, sold one ounce of cocaine to a confidential informant in Whiting, Indiana. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.
  • Augustin Jacobo-Pagan, 36 years old, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, with credit for time served after pleading guilty to the felony offense of Re-Entry of Deported Alien and False Statement in a Passport Application. No term of supervised release will be imposed due to the defendant’s deportable alien status. According to documents filed in this case, in March of 2010, Jacobo-Pagan, under an alias, submitted a United States Passport application at a post office. In the passport application, Jacobo-Pagan listed the following false information, name, date of birth and social security number. This case was the result of an investigation by the State Department and the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Philip C. Benson.
  • Jennifer Kurek, 41 years old, of Portage, Indiana, was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release and to pay $25,144.00 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of theft of government property. According to documents filed in this case, Kurek stole $25,144 from the Social Security Administration. As a SSA representative payee, Kurek had a fiduciary duty to use social security benefit funds for her daughter’s benefit. Instead, after her daughter was removed from defendant’s home by State officials, Kurek used the social security benefit funds on herself. This case was the result of an investigation by the Office of Inspector/Social Security Administration Office.
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