Law and Order Gary
March 1, 2013 5:26PM
Updated: March 2, 2013 4:15PM
Cop mentioned in fed court moved
One day after a federal prosecutor mentioned alleged actions by Patrolman Raymond Robinson, the officer has been transferred from patrol to administrative duties.
At a plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Hammond on Wednesday for former Gary officer David Finley, assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Bell said the confidential informant who arranged for Finley to sell a handgun and marijuana to him had been moved to protective custody. The informant had received threats about his testimony.
FBI agents investigating the threats learned Robinson had searched the Police Department’s database and obtained personal information about the informant before the threats began.
Gary Chief Wade Ingram said that when information became public, he immediately transferred Robinson, hired in 2009.
The investigation is continuing, sources said.
Attempted murder charge for MV man
A Merrillville man laughed and told a witness “he was one of the original gangstas” moments after 42-year-old restaurant worker was shot in the neck outside the business Tuesday night.
Willie E. Miller, 54, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and two counts of felony battery. Merrillville police arrested him at his home, where he fled after Jerry Fields Jr., 42, was shot as he sat in a car owned by his employer.
The victim told Detective Lorenzo Davis he was leaving to make a delivery when Miller approached the car and demanded the keys. Fields refused and was shot in the neck. The owner of City Wrap came outside and saw Miller standing near her car. Miller told her he didn’t shoot Fields, but laughed before he sped away. Miller rents an apartment from the business owner, the probable cause affidavit states.
Pair tried to sell new copper wire
Two men arrested as they tried to sell stolen copper wire at Paul’s Auto Yard on the city’s far west side have been charged with receiving stolen property.
Carlos Echevarria, 21, of Hammond, and Kenneth K. Ray, 19, of Burnham, Ill., presented brand new wire that appeared to have been recently removed from a spool at the scrap yard Feb. 2. Patrolman Laria Crews located a van with an empty spool on a nearby frontage road. NIPSCO employees identified the copper wire as a type used specifically for their substation.
Echevarria claimed Ray and his brother found the wire in a large garbage bin and denied stealing it, the probable cause affidavit states. Ray told Detective Daryl Gordon that Echevarria’s two older brothers had the wire and that he, Echevarria and a teenager decided to take some of the wire and exchange it for cash.
Woman with heroin gets probation
A Gary woman was sentenced Friday in Lake Superior Court to three years on probation and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.
Ukeka Deneane Hodge, 39, admitted she had 4.57 grams of heroin in her purse when police stopped her Aug. 3, 2010, outside the home where she was living at 2253 Georgia St., Gary.
Acting on an anonymous tip about suspicious activity at the home, Gary police launched a narcotics investigation and raided the home Hodge shared with co-defendant Nathaniel Hamilton. Police seized more than $18,000 and dozens of heroin packets in the raid.
Hodge, like Hamilton, had faced 20 to 50 years on the original charges.
The other charges against Hodge were dismissed under terms of her plea agreement, which called for the three-year sentence. Hodge has numerous health issues.
Hamilton’s case was dismissed in August after he was arrested on federal drug charges. U.S. District Court Judge James Moody sentenced Hamilton in July to 97 months in prison for knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. Hamilton has to serve three years on probation following his release.
Prior to his 2010 arrest on the state drug charges, Hamilton, 56, had worked as a part-time night janitor at the Lake County Government Center, despite being a three-time convicted felon.
Time served for stolen beams
A 62-year-old Gary man who pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property was sentenced to time served.
Morris Jeffery admitted he and another person attempted to sell some metal beams for scrap on Dec. 28, 2011 at Paul’s Auto Yard in Gary. The business rejected the sale because the individual with Jeffery didn’t have any identification with him and there were barcodes on the beams, which appeared to be new. An investigation showed the beams had been reported stolen from Sices Materials Products in Gary.
Prosecutors dropped the original burglary charge for Jeffery, who has no significant criminal history.
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. said that time served was an appropriate sentence. Jeffery spent 129 days in the Lake County Jail.