A LaPorte man was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison following a guilty plea submitted to a US District Judge.
According to a Department of Justice Press release, 23-year-old Mario Ward II, of LaPorte, was sentenced before United States District Court Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. Ward pled guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Ward was sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.
According to documents in this case, last July, Ward possessed a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense.
Ward was in a car that led police on a high speed chase while he had a stolen 9 millimeter firearm. The car crashed in a residential neighborhood, after which a second stolen 9 millimeter firearm was found in the car as well as over 50 grams of marijuana.
Authorities say that while criminal charges from that incident were pending, Ward was released under court supervision. However, while on release, investigators went to arrest Ward at his home for a pre-trial release violation.
During that arrest, investigators reportedly found a firearm that Ward admitting to handling as well as more than 50 grams of marijuana and over $1,000.00 in cash.
This case was investigated by ATF with assistance from the Michigan City Police Department, LaPorte County Drug Task Force and US Marshals Fugitive Apprehension Street Team. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly E. Donnelly.