Hammond Police say Gang Graffitti let to a “relentless pursuit” of wanted suspects. “The Hammond Police Department wants to send a clear message to our community that street gang activity of any kind will not be tolerated in the City of Hammond, and anyone found to be involved in gang activity will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”-Statement from Hammond Police Department
March 25, 2018-Hammond Police say a rash of gang graffitti let to an investigation which culminated in getting two guns, marijuana and numerous wanted felons off the streets. According to a statement from Lt. Steven Kellogg, “On February 26th, 2018, the Hammond Police Department was informed by community members from the North Hammond neighborhood about a rash of gang graffiti that had damaged several residences and businesses around the 500 block of Gostlin Street. Hammond Police began to investigate the graffiti’s origin and discovered that the Imperial Gangsters street gang was responsible for the damage.” Kellogg says Hammond Police then reached out to both the Hammond and East Chicago Communities.
“The matter was investigated and a specific group of Imperial Gangsters from East Chicago was suspected of being responsible for the graffiti. Investigators discovered that several members of the gang, their associates, and their family members had active warrants, including multiple felony warrants. A plan to locate all of these subjects was put into motion, and over the following two weeks, a relentless search ensued.” The investigation led to the seizure of two handguns with extended magazines, over 70 grams of marijuana and the arrest of 6 adults on outstanding warrants. According to the statement, the following arrests were made:
Jeremy Velez, 19-year-old Hispanic male from East Chicago, arrested in Hammond, warrants were for Failure to Appear for Strangulation (Felony), and Resisting Law Enforcement (Misdemeanor).
Elijah Bonhama, 19-year-old Hispanic male from Hammond, arrested in Hammond, a warrant was for Criminal Recklessness (Felony), with an additional charge of Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor).
Justin Leiva, 20-year-old Hispanic male from Gary, arrested in Gary, a warrant was for Probation Violation originating from a charge of Receiving a Stolen Vehicle (Felony).
Victor Colon, 25-year-old Hispanic male from Hammond, arrested in Orange County, Florida, warrants were for Probation Violation originating from a charge of Theft (Felony), and Resisting Law Enforcement (Misdemeanor).
Angel Vellon Jr, a 27-year-old Hispanic male from Hammond, arrested in Hammond, warrants were for Failure to Appear for an unknown crime (Misdemeanor), Operating a Vehicle without a License (Misdemeanor), and Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor).
Kennedy Carter, a 19-year-old multiracial female from Whiting, arrested in Hammond, a warrant was for Operating a Vehicle without a License (Misdemeanor).