Superceding Indictment Charges Two-Six Gang Members

Hammond, Indiana - United States Attorney David Capp announced that a Superseding Indictment was returned yesterday charging Jesus Valentin Fuentes, 39, of Chicago and East Chicago, Kiontay Kyare Pennington, 34, of Gary, Indiana, Oscar Cosme, 41, of East Chicago, Indiana and Adron Herschel Tancil, 36, of East Chicago, Indiana, for the May 16, 2003 murder of Julio Cartagena in East Chicago, Indiana.
The indictment alleges that Fuentes was one of the local leaders of the Two Six Nation, a violent criminal enterprise. In November 2003, Fuentes directed members of the Two Six to kidnap the family of Julio Cartagena (Cartagena was also a member of the Two Six), in an effort to recover a large quantity of cocaine stolen by Cartagena from Fuentes. Henderson, Pennington and other Two Six members allegedly kidnapped Cartagena’s children and mother of his children at gunpoint from their home in Hammond, Indiana. Hammond Police soon were able to rescue the family, none were harmed.
Thereafter, the indictment alleges that Fuentes directed Two Six members to kidnap Julio Cartagena. On May 16, 2003, Louis Henderson, Pennington, and Tancil, all alleged Two Six members, and Oscar Cosme, an associate of Henderson, shot and killed Cartagena in East Chicago during an attempted kidnapping. After the shooting these four individuals sped away in a vehicle driven by Henderson. The vehicle crashed and Henderson was killed.

  • Count 1 of the indictment charges Pennington, Tancil and Fuentes with murder in aid of racketeering and kidnapping.

  • Count 2 of the indictment charges Pennington, Cosme, Tancil and Fuentes with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (distribution of cocaine) and crimes of violence (murder and kidnapping).

These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Merrillville Field Office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives HIDTA Taskforce, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the East Chicago Police Department and the Hammond Police Department. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Nozick.
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. ...

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Lowell Teacher Named 2013 IN Art Teacher of the Year

An elementary art teacher in Lowell recently received the 2013 Indiana Elementary School Art Educator of the Year award. The Art Education Association of Indiana made the announcement today that Jill Sayers won the award during the annual convention in Indianapolis last month. Sayers teaches art at Lake Praire Elementary and is also the school's Building Technology Leader. Principal Lisa Patton calls Sayers a “grant writing machine”who is on a never-ending quest to find innovative projects and units, which are engaging and highly creative. ...

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Sketch of Chesterton Burglary Suspect Released

chesterton suspect sketch
Police in Chesterton continue to investigate a report of a woman being robbed in her home just before noon Tuesday in the 11-hundred block of Pam Drive.  Chesterton Police Thursday released a sketch of the alleged suspect who, according to police, confronted the victim from behind and pushed her inside, implying he had a weapon, but did not display one, took her into an adjoining room and demanded personal items. Police say the woman was secured by the suspect after several items were taken. The suspect was described as a black male, about 6-feet tall, weighing 190 pounds, with short curly hair.   Anyone with information is asked to contact Chesterton Police at (219) 926-1136....

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Coroner's Office ID's Homicide Victim Found in Gary

A Hispanic man whose body was discovered in a burned out vehicle in Gary on November 4th, in the 27-hundred block of Maryland Street, has been identified. The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the deceased was identified late this afternoon as 30 year old Emmanuel Dominguez, of Chicago. The Coroner's Office reports Dominguez sustained multiple stab wounds and his death has been ruled a homicide. ...

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Meetings Scheduled for Proposed Limestone Quarry

A couple of meetings are coming up that could move a proposed limestone quarry closer to reality in south Lake County. Singleton Stone has asked permission for work on a couple of ditches for a quarry at their 600-acre site southeast of the I-65 and Route 2 interchange, east of Lowell. The drainage board's advisory committee will hear the matter next month, at an 8am meeting December 18th. A special meeting of the county's drainage board has been scheduled for January 29th, 2014 to consider the committee's recommendation. Board member Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub won't have a say because a judge ordered Scheub to remove himself from the proceedings after Scheub's public opposition to the proposed quarry which has been in the courts since 2010. The drainage board is typically made up of Lake County's three commissioners. ...

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Miracle on Mt. Baldy First Responders Honored

mt baldy honors 2
(Photos Courtesy of State Senator Jim Arnold's Office)
Tuesday was Organization Day for Indiana legislators to kick off the 2014 legislative session, a mostly ceremonial day featuring the annual first roll call of all state lawmakers, but legislators also honored emergency workers who played a vital role in the July rescue of a 6 year old boy at Mt. Baldy. State Senator Jim Arnold, of LaPorte, authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 honoring the first responders, and Michigan City mayor Ron Meer, Police Chief Mark Swistek and Fire Chief Ronnie Martin were in attendance. Senator Arnold says, “the time, effort and professionalism that these first responders exhibited are no doubt the reason that a 6-year-old boy now has his whole life ahead of him...and for that, they deserve all of our respect and gratitude.”
mt baldy honors 1
The General Assembly will return to the Statehouse on January 7th. ...

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LaPorte Police Seek Help in Locating Wanted Man

brett tanksley
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
Police in LaPorte are seeking the public's help in locating a 26 year old man wanted on a warrant for failure to appear on a possession of a controlled substance charge and maintaining a common nuisance. LaPorte Police report Brett Tanksley is described as a white male, 5'8”, weighing 190 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Police say Tanksley has a large tattoo of the grim reaper on his chest and the letters T-A-N-K tattooed across the fingers of his right hand. Anyone with information on Brett Tanksley's immediate whereabouts is asked to contact 9-1-1,  the LaPorte Police Department at 362-9446, or La Porte Metro Operations at 325-9022. You can remain anonymous....

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3.5 Pounds of Crystal Meth Found During Traffic Stop

Loki with Meth
(Photos Courtesy of the Lake County County Sheriff's Office)
Two North Chicago men are in custody after police recovered three-point-five pounds of crystal methamphetamine from their vehicle on Wednesday. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports officers pulled the vehicle over around 4pm for speeding and making unsafe lane movements while heading southbound on I-65, near Lowell. Authorities say while approaching the vehicle, their drug dog indicated on the engine area and upon investigating the engine compartment the drugs were allegedly located. 26 year old Alejandro Murilla and 18 year old Alexander Molina were each charged with dealing a controlled substance.
Alejandro Murillo
(Above: Alejandro Murilla. Below: Alexander Molina)
Alexander Molina ...

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South Shore Air Show Moving to Fair Oaks Farms

air show announcement 1
(Photos Courtesy of Nick Russ and the South Shore CVA)

This morning at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, officials welcomed back the South Shore Air Show... which is heading to a new location.  Speros A. Batistatos, President and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, and Gary Corbett, CEO of Fair Oaks Farms, announced that Fair Oaks Farms will play backdrop to the event at a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 21.
air show announcement 2
Fair Oaks Farms is a 33,000 acre attraction, allowing the two organizations ample room to make additions to the family-fun event.  “Hosting an air show at a tourism destination, like Fair Oaks Farms, has yet to be done in the United States,” said Batistatos. “We have a real opportunity to bring in new facets to an event that is already a ‘must-attend’ for residents and visitors.”  Additionally, Batistatos believes hosting the air show at Fair Oaks Farms will challenge conventional thinking on space used for events along the South Shore.  “Northwest Indiana is such a unique area. There are many different features that can be highlighted and tailored to make an event truly special and successful,” said Batistatos.  According to Batistatos, Fair Oaks Farms enthusiastically agreed to partner for the 2014 air show.
air show map
(An aerial view of Fair Oaks indicating the event space in 2014)
South Shore Air Show attendees will be able to enjoy the traditional, exciting aerial acrobatics in addition to exploring all Fair Oaks Farms has to offer. With the recent addition of The Pig Adventure, Fair Oaks Farms has numerous educational and entertaining activities for all ages. Proposed additions to the air show include a car show and live music entertainment.
air show logo

Previously, the South Shore Air Show had been held on the beaches of Marquette Park in the Miller Beach section of Gary. Officials say this year's show was canceled due to the impact of automatic federal spending cuts, or sequestration.  Dates for the 2014 South Shore Air Show will be announced in the coming months....

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Police Investigating Shooting Incident in Michigan City

michigan city police
Two men were taken into custody on Wednesday after gunfire rang out as students were getting off their school bus in the three-hundred block of Vail Street in Michigan City. Authorities report there were two groups on each side of the street involved in the incident that occurred around 3pm. No injuries were reported and no homes or vehicles were hit by the gunfire, which police estimate lasted anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Michigan City Police report 21 year old Alexander Newton and 19 year old Isaac Newton were apprehended after a brief foot-chase and were both being held for resisting law enforcement, while the 21 year old was also charged with criminal recklessness and carrying a handgun without a permit. The cause of the incident remains under investigation....

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