Lake County Law and Order
October 17, 2012 3:56PM
Updated: October 17, 2012 11:24PM
Chicago man left work release
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. sentenced a Chicago man to 18 months for failure to return to lawful detention.
Vincent Velazquez, 24, was serving a sentence on a probation revocation for sexual misconduct with a minor when he left Lake County Community Corrections Kimbrough Work Program on a pass to register as a sex offender on July 28, 2011, and never returned. He was arrested by Chicago police and returned to Lake County.
Velazquez was ordered to serve 12 months in custody. Stefaniak suspended six months of the 18-month sentence and placed Velazquez on probation. Velazquez had 337 days in custody and was released from Lake County Jail for time served.
Teen sentenced for residential entry
Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez sentenced a 19-year-old Merrillville man to two years in an alternative program, followed by two years on probation for residential entry, identity deception and theft.
Matthew J. Saxinger admitted he and another individual broke into a home in the White Hawk subdivision in Crown Point by entering through the garage and stole several items, including a bank card, gas card and movie rental cards. The two individuals also stole a briefcase from a truck in the same subdivision. The crimes occurred between Sept. 14, 2011 and Sept. 17, 2011.
Burglary and other charges were dismissed under terms of the plea agreement.
Saxinger’s plea agreement requires him to pay $2,733 in restitution during 24 months. If he complies with the terms of his sentence in Lake County Community Corrections and while on probation, he may ask the judge to reduce his felony convictions to misdemeanors.
Shots fired through apartment door
Griffith police are investigating an incident in which shots were fired into an apartment at 1924 Dylane Drive.
Police were called at about 11 p.m. Wednesday to the apartment, where one individual was struck by flying debris but did not require medical treatment.
The gunfire went through a sliding glass door. Some rounds embedded into the wall inside the apartment, police said.
The victims — a mother and her three sons — told police they had been having trouble with new neighbors who moved into the building.
Pot plants in truck bed easily found
A Hammond man told police he was moving three marijuana plants that he’d been growing in his backyard when he was pulled over earlier this month.
Joshua Wayne Hopper, of the 2900 block of Gibson Place, was stopped at about 2 a.m. Oct. 6 for an expired license plate on his pickup when the officer noticed three large green leafy plants in the bed. The traffic stop occurred in the 6100 block of Kennedy Avenue, Hammond.
Hopper told the officer he’d been growing the plants for three to four months and was moving them to another location when he was pulled over. The plants were in plain view.
Hopper stepped out of his truck and extended his hands as if he was waiting to be handcuffed and later told the officer he immediately knew he would be arrested.
The leaves were stripped from the plant and weighed 1.5 gross pounds.
Hopper was charged with possession of marijuana, dealing in marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance, all class D felonies punishable by a six months to three years.