Two Elkhart men sentenced in federal court
SOUTH BEND — Two Elkhart men received their sentences in two separate federal cases this week.
Octavio Betancourt-Mendoza, 38, was sentenced to 151 months, or about 12 years, in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and money laundering. According to court documents, Betancourt-Mendoza ran drugs in Elkhart in an interstate drug trafficking conspiracy, allowing his family residence to be used for his business. He laundered some of the money through the purchase of a car.
The case was a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The amount of drugs seized in the case included kilograms of cocaine and hundred of pounds of marijuana. Police also seized more than $100,000 from the operation.
Christopher Hibshman, 22, was sentenced to 27 months and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police arrested Hibshman through a warrant, and after obtaining consent to search his residence they found a 12-gauge shotgun and .22 rounds in a closet where Hibschman had been hiding.
Police also found baggies with meth residue, two scales, two coffee filters and a tin containing syringes and meth residue. Hibshman admitted to being a drug user.
Hibshman’s arrest was a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.