DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Indiana

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Thomas L. Kirsch II
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ryan Holmes

Project Guardian Indictments

HAMMOND- Several individuals were indicted separately as part of the new U.S. Department of Justice Project Guardian initiative, announced U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II and ATF Chicago Field Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brendan Iber. 

The following individuals have been charged:

Caesar Gonzales, 23, of Hammond

            Possession of an unregistered machine gun and distribution of cocaine

Sonny Richards, 26, of Hammond

            Felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of cocaine

Jesus Gonzales, 28, of East Chicago

            Felon in possession of a firearm

Dalyla Mares, 24, of East Chicago

            Felon in possession of a firearm

Khalil Swader, 22, of Gary

            Felon in possession of a firearm

Leonardo Verduzco, 25, of Crown Point

Distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of crack, drug user in possession of a firearm along with aiding and abetting the straw purchase of a firearm

Cesar Saldivar, 21, of Chicago, Illinois

            Possession of an unregistered machine gun

Myles Graham, 22, of Cedar Lake

            Straw purchasing of a firearm

Rahim Hill, 22, of Gary

            Felon in possession of a firearm

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “We will not tolerate violent crime in the Northern District of Indiana.  Together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals involved in the illegal possession and acquisition of firearms.  These investigations do not stop at the state line, and as evidenced by the charges announced today, neither do our prosecutions.  My office will do everything we can to reduce violent crime in the District.”

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 

These cases are the result of the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives with the assistance of the Schererville, Merrillville, Munster, Hammond, Griffith and East Chicago Police Departments along with the Lake County Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Office.  These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Cooley, Thomas Mahoney, Nicholas Padilla and Kevin Wolff along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Toth.

Chicago Field Division