CROWN POINT — Jossean M. Echevarria, one of two men charged in both federal and state court with the theft of copper wire, appeared Friday in Lake Criminal Court before Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan.
The 30-year-old Hammond resident was charged in federal court with stealing copper wire from Clayhole Woods, a Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet City, and transporting that wire into Indiana.
Defense attorney Bill Padula told Sullivan his client has just returned from Hammond on Thursday, where he was indicted in federal court on charges of interstate transportation of stolen property.
Echevarria appeared in court in jail attire and shackled.
Sullivan waived the reading of the state charge, felony level 6 for theft of property valued between $750 and $50,000, and entered a not guilty plea for Echevarria.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Dillon said the state had no objection.
An omnibus hearing is slated for Nov. 30. However, following the hearing, Padula said he doubts the state charges will go forward because his client is charged in federal court.
Echevarria and Diquan D. Ray, 23, of Burnham, were stopped in a vehicle in Hammond on Sept. 28, and found in possession of copper wire from the Illinois forest preserve, according to court documents.
The case was investigated by the FBI GRIT Task Force in conjunction with Hammond and Lansing police and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.