Federal and International, Law and Order

Hammond Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison on Firearm Offense

guilty mgn, Hammond man sentenced on firearm offense

Hammond, IN-(ENEWSPF)- Edward Timothy Rzasa, 49 years old, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge James Moody on his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Rzasa was sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, on August 2, 2021, Officers with the Griffith Police Department arrested Rzasa based on an outstanding arrest warrant.  During a search incident to his arrest, Officers recovered a loaded .380 caliber pistol which they learned had previously been reported as stolen.  According to his criminal history, Rzasa had multiple prior felony convictions.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives/High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force and the Griffith Police Department.   This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Padilla.

United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on July 26, 2021 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on September 30, 2021 for the Northern District of Indiana United States Attorney position.  President Biden signed Mr. Johnson’s commission on October 5, 2021.

Mr. Johnson previously was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana from 1986 to August 2020.  During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Indiana, Mr. Johnson held numerous supervisory/management positions, including Chief of the Civil Division from 1997 to 2010 and twice serving as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney from (June 2010 to March 2017 and October 2017 to August 2020).  Mr. Johnson, pursuant to the Vacancy Reform Act, served as the District’s Acting U.S. Attorney from March 2017 to October 2017.  Before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in January 1986, Mr. Johnson was a Trial Attorney in the Employment Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. from August 1980 to December 1985.

Mr. Johnson, a Gary, Indiana native, received his J.D. from Valparaiso University Law School in 1980 and his B.A. from Valparaiso University in 1976.  

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.