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Members of alleged drug ring charged with 3rd murder in superseding indictment

Members of alleged drug ring charged with 3rd murder in superseding indictment

Isaiah Edwards

Isaiah Edwards

HAMMOND — The U.S. attorney's office charged four remaining defendants already facing drug conspiracy charges with a third homicide in a superseding indictment filed last week, U.S. District Court records show.

Gary residents Teddia Caldwell, 45, Devonte Hodge, 28, Devontae Martin, 27, and Taquan Clarke, 26, were among nine people initially indicted in February 2018 on allegations they conspired to distribute crack cocaine and heroin from June 2016 to February 2018. 

The men also were charged in the murders of 29-year-old Akeem Oliver on Oct. 8, 2016, and 43-year-old Kevin Hood on July 28, 2017.

In a second superseding indictment filed Thursday, federal prosecutors alleged the defendants also played a role in the June 26, 2016, murder of Isaiah Edwards, 19, at a home Caldwell rented in the 2500 block of Jefferson Street.

Court records alleged unnamed individuals shot and killed Edwards and Caldwell went to the Jefferson Street house to "wrap up, move and dispose of Edwards' corpse." Caldwell and other members of his organization disposed of Edwards' body in the presence of Oliver, according to the indictment.

A man found Edwards' burned body while walking a dog June 30, 2016, in a grassy area near 27th Avenue and Maryland Street in Gary.

The latest indictment alleges Caldwell and Hodge had a conversation inside Caldwell's car wash, called Da Wash, in October 2016 in which they discussed their suspicions that Oliver had talked to police about Edwards' homicide. During that same month, the two planned for Hodge to kill Oliver by shooting him in the back of the head as they rode in the same car, records state.

On Oct. 8, 2016, Hodge and another one of Caldwell's associates — identified only as A.F. — shot and killed Oliver and wounded another man in the area of East 20th Place and Virginia Street, records state.

Afterward, Hodge and A.F. went to Da Wash and detailed the murder to Caldwell, who allegedly said, "Good. Appreciate it."

In July 2017, members of Caldwell's organization stole a black Chevrolet Tahoe and traded its mirrors for the mirrors on an SUV belonging to co-defendant Victor "Vic" Young, 47, of Calumet City, records state. 

Martin and Clarke then drove the stolen SUV to Hood's Shine On Car Wash in the 1500 block of Massachusetts Street on July 28, 2017, and fatally shot Hood during a robbery, records allege.

Caldwell and an unnamed associate watched the alleged homicide unfold from a vehicle parked nearby, documents state.

Caldwell, Hodge, Martin and Clarke have pleaded not guilty. Their trial is set for Jan. 11.

Young and co-defendant Cornell “Knuckles” Allen pleaded guilty last year to drug conspiracy charges.

Young was sentenced Monday to three years and nine months in prison, records show. Allen is still awaiting sentencing.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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