Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Police News

August 26, 2013

Police news for Aug. 26

Motorists hurt in two-vehicle crash

Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash shortly before noon Sunday south of Elkhart

The collision occurred at Ind. 19 and C.R. 28. Elkhart County police said a 1998 Saturn four-door driven by Thomas Bagiackas, 22, South Bend, collided with a 2007 Hyundai four-door driven by Paul Locsi, 64, North Webster.

Bagiackas suffered head and rib pain as a result of the crash. A passenger in the Saturn, Marcie Smith, 25, South Bend, suffered left shoulder pain. Police said Bagiackas was issued a citation for disregarding a stop sign.

Woman sentenced on immigration charges

An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced in U.S. District Court on immigration-related charges.

Sandra Alfaro, 36, the owner of Servicios Mi Tierra, was sentenced by District Judge Robert Miller Jr. to 39 months imprisonment following her guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.  

Prosecutors said Alfaro engaged in identity fraud by creating dummy corporations for people in the United States illegally so they could register and title their motor vehicles in order to harbor, conceal and shield them from detection by law enforcement officials.

Alfaro’s scheme helped people who were in the U.S. illegally by sidestepping Bureau of Motor Vehicle requirement that the owner of a vehicle have a Social Security number before vehicle registration and titles would be issued. It also sidestepped the BMV’s requirement that drivers have insurance.

Investigators said Alfaro created corporations by falsely representing to the Indiana Secretary of State that the non-residents owned businesses, and also misled regarding the purpose of the corporations. Between 2009 and the middle of 2011, she helped at least 300 non-residents remain in the United States by helping them secure plates, titles and registration documents from the BMV.  

In addition to creating fictitious corporations, Alfaro worked with Paulino Ascencion-Apolino, 23, of Elkhart in the South Bend and Goshen area by completing BMV paperwork for him and then processing that paperwork at BMV branches in Indianapolis. Investigators said she notarized signatures that she did not witness and submitted forged documents to the BMV to falsify residency and insurance coverage. Ascencion-Apolino, also using the name Servicos Mi Tierra, had offices in South Bend, Elkhart and Highland from the fall of 2010 to May of 2011. Ascencion-Apolino was sentenced in February 2012 to 33 months of imprisonment and forfeiture of more than $60,000 seized from several bank accounts for his role in the conspiracy. On March 16, 2012, Ramon Garcia, 39, of Berrien Springs, Michigan, who had been working for Ascencion-Apolino, was sentenced to 27 months.

Crash reports

• Two people were hurt in a motorcycle crash Saturday west of Elkhart.

The mishap occurred at 4:16 p.m. on C.R. 20 near Kreighbaum. Walter Grimes, 67, LaGrange was headed west on a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Elkhart County police reported that a car pulled into the intersection at Kreighbaum. Grimes swerved to avoid the other vehicle and lost control of the motorcycle, which crashed on the ground.

Grimes suffered pain to his arms, legs and head. A passenger on the motorcycle, Donna Grimes, 65, LaGrange, suffered knee, arm, head and back pain. Both were transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment.

Gunshot reported

A witness told police someone with a handgun fired a shot out of the window of a vehicle leaving Hibachi Grill, 2820 Elkhart Road, Goshen, around 1:43 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle was later stopped by Elkhart city police, Goshen police reported. No further information on the incident was available Sunday night.  

Suspicious fire

Goshen firefighters and police went to the scene of a vehicle fire shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday at 1309 Elkhart Road. A 1997 Ford Aerostar van was destroyed in the fire.

Theft/burglary reports

• Ray Hunsberger, 1802 S. 13th St., Goshen, told city police Sunday that sometime during the night, someone removed the screen on his living room window and stole two televisions from his home.

• Mark Copenhaver of Goshen told city police Saturday that someone stole a tool chest containing several hand tools and a cordless drill that belonged to him. The burglary occurred at a garage at 405 E. Lincoln Ave.

• Renee Rock of Goshen reported several unauthorized withdrawals from her checking account to city police Saturday.

• Joan Gary and Grace Leatherman of Goshen reported the theft of two bicycles to Goshen police Saturday. The theft occurred at 1553 Dogwood Court.

• An information security officer for Teachers Credit Union, South Bend, told Goshen police Friday about several attempts to gain customer account information over the phone. The calls were made from a Goshen address, according to the police report.

• Goshen police were called to Walmart, 4024 Elkhart, Road, around 12:30 p.m. Friday regarding people shoplifting and fleeing the store. Police arrived and found one of the people believed to be involved. No arrests were made.

Vandalism/criminal mischief reports

• Lisa Sickel of Goshen told city police a girl pounded on her window and broke it at 2741 Oakwood Drive. The incident occurred around 3:14 p.m. Saturday.

Alcohol/drug arrests

• Ashley E. Reiff, 37, 1603 Westmoor Parkway, Goshen, was arrested after a traffic stop by Goshen police around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 300 block of North Main Street. She was arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug precursors and driving a vehicle with an expired temporary license plate.

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Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
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