Two men face federal charges in 2003 homicide in E.C.

2013-08-26T22:17:00Z 2013-08-27T17:39:16Z Two men face federal charges in 2003 homicide in E.C.Elvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Two men were charged in federal court in a 2003 fatal shooting of a Hammond man in East Chicago.

Oscar Cosme and Kiontay Pennington were charged Friday with knowingly and intentionally committing murder resulting from the use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a federal drug trafficking crime. They had their first appearance in federal court Monday.

Cosme and Pennington are accused of fatally shooting Julio Cartagena, 25, of Hammond, on May 16, 2003, outside an apartment complex at 1901 E. Columbus Drive in East Chicago, according to an affidavit. Officers who were in the area began a police pursuit.

The chase ended when two men along with two others crashed in the intersection of Cline Avenue and Industrial Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, Louis Henderson, 36, died at the scene.

According to the affidavit, the fatal shooting was in retaliation for a 2002 theft of cocaine and marijuana from a Portage storage unit. The group blamed Cartagena for the theft of drugs that were estimated to be worth $1 million.

The men were driving a black Crown Victoria, often used by police, and were wearing police paraphernalia during the shooting. They also used flashing police lights during the pursuit.

Some of the people involved in the shooting were alleged members of the Two Six street gang.

In the 10 years that have passed, officials have been able to piece together what happened through witnesses and a defendant in a federal drug and conspiracy to commit racketeering case. The unidentified defendant has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigations, according to an affidavit.  

In May, officials collected DNA samples of Cosme and Pennington that tie them to masks found in the car involved in the police pursuit.

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