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STEFFON GONZALEZ

HAMMOND — A federal grand jury has indicted a Hobart man on allegations he threatened President Donald Trump’s life last month. 

The U.S. District Court unsealed the three-count indictment Thursday against 20-year-old Steffon Gonzalez, who has been in custody in the Lake County Jail since local and federal authorities arrested him March 30 at his home in the 3800 block of Parker Street.

Gonzalez was charged earlier this month in Lake Superior Court on a state felony charge of intimidation and was being held without bail for violating his pretrial release on an earlier, unrelated intimidation count from last year, according to court records.

The new federal case contains two counts of making threats against the president's life by posting to Facebook on March 28 that he was standing outside with a rifle and a "bullet chambered to blow his head off."

The grand jury also indicted Gonzalez on one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly concealing his Facebook account from a Secret Service investigation into his threats.

He faces a maximum penalty of five years for the alleged threats and 20 years if convicted of obstruction of justice.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether Gonzalez had appeared in federal court for pre-trial hearings April 3 and 11.

The judge refused both times to release Gonzalez on bond.

The Lake County prosecutor’s office alleged in its state case that Gonzalez posted on Facebook the words, “Standing outside with my 22 long rifle ready to kill trump I will be on the news.” 

U.S. Secret Service agents and Hobart police raided his home March 30 and found bullets and gunpowder, but no firearm, according to court records.

Gonzalez has denied he posted the threat and has claimed others have access to his Facebook account and his room where the bullets were found, according to the records.

Last fall, Gonzalez was charged with intimidating another man. A Lake Superior Court judge in that case ordered Gonzalez to undergo anger management counseling and placed him in the Lake County Community Corrections program.

He was released from the corrections program in late February and allowed to remain on house arrest until the latest incident.

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