Man killed by DEA was facing state, fed charges
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 12:54 AM CDT



MERRILLVILLE | A man fatally shot by a federal agent
in Merrillville on Monday was identified by
authorities Tuesday as an alleged gang member facing
state and federal drug charges.

Rosalio Rincon, 28, of Chicago, and three others were
named in a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in U.S.
District Court in Hammond.

The indictment alleges Rincon, Ronald L. Johnson Jr.,
Joe Ann Johnson and Maria Olimpo conspired to
distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine between 2006
and this month.

Rincon was shot by a U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration agent Monday after appearing in Lake
Criminal Court that morning on a state cocaine charge
carrying a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.

DEA officers said they were attempting to arrest
Rincon on Monday afternoon when he tried to hit a DEA
agent with his car near the Southlake mall area off
U.S. 30.

Fearing for his life, the agent fired one round at
Rincon, the DEA said. Rincon was later pronounced dead
of a gunshot wound to the chest at Methodist Hospitals
Southlake Campus, the Lake County coroner's office
said.

Police said it was not the first time Rincon attacked
a law enforcement officer.

The state charge stems from an Aug. 31 arrest, when
Rincon allegedly fled from Highland police Officer
Jose Rivas, who said he saw Rincon drive away with a
black duffel bag from a residence in the 3500 block of
Jewett Street reportedly known for drug activity.

After Rivas stopped Rincon and ordered him to park his
car, Rincon tried to strike Rivas with the car,
according to Rivas' statement. Rivas then fired two
shots into the car's rear passenger tire, deflating
it.

While chasing him, Rivas said he saw Rincon toss a
black duffel from his car, before he finally stopped
the car. After searching the car, Rivas found small
bags full of 17.4 grams of cocaine and $952.

Police said Rincon later admitted to police to being a
member of the Latin Dragon street gang, but he refused
to tell police his drug source.

Merrillville police said officers on Monday witnessed
a passenger in Rincon's car throwing bags out of the
car, Merrillville police Operations Cmdr. Lance Huish
said.

Neither Huish nor Dennis Wichern, assistant special
agent in charge of the DEA, would say what was in the
bags or identify a passenger now in police custody in
Merrillville. Wichern declined to say whether the
passenger is named with Rincon in the federal
indictment.

Wichern said DEA officials from Washington, D.C.,
would be examining the shooting, as standard protocol,
but the unnamed agent involved would not be in any
kind of trouble.

Merrillville police are investigating Monday's
shooting and will turn their investigation results
over to the Lake County prosecutor's office.