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HAMMOND — An Hammond man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for conspiring to participate in racketeering activity as a member of the Latin Kings street gang, U.S. District Court records show.

Mario Resendiz, 45, had been awaiting sentencing since February 2016, when he pleaded guilty and admitted to possessing a firearm in connection with his crimes. He was ordered to two years of supervised release after leaving prison.

Resendiz was accused of robbing two people at gunpoint in October 2015; taking a man's gun and robbing him of a cellphone, jewelry and the firearm in August 2015; possessing a firearm in July 2015 and possessing marijuana in May 2014.

Resendiz and two other people pointed firearms at members of the Black P Stone gang in spring 2015 and stole two firearms, according to the indictment.

Resendiz is among 38 people indicted since July 2015 in an initial indictment and several superseding indictments. He is the 14th defendant to be sentenced in the case, records show.

The case marked the first time the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Indiana filed human trafficking charges as part of a street gang case.

Joseph Uvalle, of Chicago Heights, was sentenced in January to 23 years in prison for conspiracy to commit racketeering and two counts of transportation for prostitution.

As part of his plea agreement, Uvalle also admitted responsibility for the homicide of Raudel Contreras, 26, of Hammond, on Aug. 14, 2014, at the now-demolished Estrella's Bar, 4704 Hohman Ave.

Melinda Milton, of East Chicago, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for working with Uvalle to pimp out underage girls through the website Backpage.com.

The defendants are accused of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy from 2003 to November 2015 that involved murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, kidnapping, sex trafficking, robbery, burglary and narcotics distribution in East Chicago, Hammond and Gary.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.