Week in Review—South Bend
SOUTH BEND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:
- Steven M. McCloughan, 57, of Elkhart, Indiana pled guilty to the felony offense of possession and distribution of child pornography. The magistrate is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea. Parties have 14 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Secret Service. Sentencing has been set for 9/25/2014. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Maciejczyk.
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.
- Alvin Blade, III, 22, of South Bend, IN was sentenced to 72 months’ imprisonment, two years’ supervised release and a $100 Special Assessment after pleading guilty to the felony offense of using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime/crime of violence, where the firearm was discharged. According to documents filed in this case, Javon Thomas and Alvin Blade III agreed and planned to sell ecstasy pills to Jerrell Sanders and his brother William Sanders. A January 21, 2011 meeting for the sale of the ecstasy pills was set and was to occur near the Olive St. convenience store. Instead of the sale, Thomas had decided to rob Jerrell and his brother William. Thomas was armed with a 9mm pistol. In the course of the meeting/confrontation, Blade was also armed with a handgun and shot Jerrell Sanders and also fired at William Sanders. Javon Thomas shot William Sanders. Javon Thomas went through the pockets of the two victims and stole the cash that the Sanders had brought for the planned drug purchase. Blade’s participation in this episode included his setting up the drug sale of ecstasy pills with Thomas’ concurrence, pulling a handgun, and shooting Jerrell Sanders. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, FBI and the South Bend Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald J. Schmid.
- Robert D. Carrico, 29, of South Bend, IN was sentenced to 92 months’ imprisonment, two years’ supervised release and a $100 Special Assessment after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of federal drug trafficking crimes. According to documents filed in this case, Carrico was distributing ecstasy pills and marijuana in the South Bend area. He was aware that dealing in drugs created a risk that he would be robbed of the drugs he was selling and the money that he was making from his illegal drug trafficking. In order to try and protect himself from such robberies, he armed himself with multiple firearms including a .44 caliber revolver, a .45 caliber pistol, a 9mm pistol, a .380 caliber pistol, an AK-47 assault rifle, two 12 gauge shotguns, a 20 gauge shotgun and a large amount of ammunition for these firearms. On October 23, 2013, four armed men tried to rob Carrico of his drugs and cash. Gunfire was exchanged. Carrico was wounded, one of the intruders was killed and another was wounded. Two women who were at Carrico’s home were also present during the armed home invasion/robbery attempt. Police who investigated the shooting found a kilogram of marijuana, ecstasy pills, other drug trafficking materials, and several thousand dollars cash (along with some of the firearms) in a safe that Carrico kept. When Carrico was arrested on February 14, 2014 on the federal warrant for this case, police found Carrico carrying a loaded .45 caliber Beretta pistol. Police also found a small amount of marijuana and a loaded 12 gauge Hawk shotgun in his home on February 14, 2014. This case was the result of an investigation by Elkhart County Immigration and Customs Enforcement Drug Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.
- David Diederich, 58, of LaPorte, IN was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment, one year supervised release and to pay a $1000 fine after pleading guilty to the felony offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to documents filed in this case, on August 23, 2013, Diederich possessed an Empire Ejector shotgun while in LaPorte County, IN. He had been convicted of a felony in St. Joseph County in 1976 in Superior Court. Diederich knew he could not lawfully possess a firearm and he did not dispute that this firearm had traveled through interstate or foreign commerce. 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 Frank Schaffer.
- Brian L. Baker, 23, of Chicago, IL was sentenced to 75 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possessing heroin with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to documents filed in this case, the South Bend Police did a traffic stop for no taillight on August 23, 2013 on a vehicle in which the defendant was riding. Brian Baker was the front seat passenger and his girlfriend Stephanie Rodriguez driving; another man, Michael Mason, was in the back seat. Having consent to search the vehicle, the police found a handgun in a purse along with 42 baggies of heroin (approximately 7.1 grams) and three baggies of marijuana (approximately 3.4 grams). Baker had $384 cash in his pocket. Both the handgun – a Taurus pistol, model PT132 Millennium Pro, .32 caliber, Serial No. FCS12041 – and the drugs belonged to and were in the possession of the defendant Brian Baker. The firearm was used to protect the defendant while he was engaged in heroin trafficking. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the South Bend Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.