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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 13, 2014

Anchorage Gang Member Sentenced to 19 Years for Carjacking, Escape

Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a gang member with a long criminal record of violence was sentenced today to federal prison for escape and carjacking.

United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason sentenced Andrea Lavelle Vickers, 25, to serve 19 yearsin prison.  Vickers, of Anchorage, pled guilty to criminal charges stemming from his escape from a halfway house where he was finishing a federal prison sentence stemming from a firearms charge, and a subsequent high-speed chase by Anchorage Police officers in the early morning hours of January 11, 2014. 

According to documents and testimony provided in court, Vickers escaped from the Cordova Center halfway house in Anchorage on January 4, 2014.

On January 11, Vickers abducted his former girlfriend and her infant child, forcibly taking her car in the process.  Vickers threatened to throw the child out the window, and take the 19-year-old victim to the valley, where he planned to kill her and burn her body.  Vickers obtained a can of gasoline and 72 rolls of toilet paper to accomplish the burning.

The victim convinced Vickers to let her drop off the baby with a friend, and she asked the friend to call 911 and report the kidnapping.  Anchorage Police spotted the car, and Vickers fled at high speed because he knew he was wanted on the escape charge.  Running red lights and speeding at 80-85 mph on the Glenn Highway, Vickers then exited the highway at Boniface Parkway, ran the red light and crashed into another vehicle occupied by two women.  The kidnap victim and the other two women were injured, and Vickers fled on foot.  He was arrested nearby after a foot pursuit by APD officers.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Gleason found that Vickers had used death threats and force, that he chose vulnerable victims, that he recklessly endangered others during flight, that he caused bodily injury to the victim, and that he obstructed justice.  Evidence presented in court showed that despite no-contact orders from a state judge and two federal judges, Vickers repeatedly called the victim from jail to threaten or otherwise persuade her to drop charges against him and change her story.

Court papers show that Vickers, although only 25, already has a long, violent criminal record, including numerous crimes involving firearms and prior threats to victims.  According to testimony provided in a prior federal court sentencing, Vickers has admitted being a member of at least two Anchorage street gangs, and has numerous gang tattoos.

Vickers still faces state criminal charges stemming from the pursuit and crash on January 11.

United States Attorney Karen Loeffler stated, “Mr. Vickers, though young, is and was a violent gang member who preyed on the community through violence and intimidation as reflected in the very significant sentence imposed by Judge Gleason.  I am proud of our partnership between our hard working federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and our continued joint commitment to enhancing the safety of our communities through prosecution of dangerous individuals such as Mr. Vickers.”

Ms. Loeffler commends the U.S. Marshals Service and the Anchorage Police Department for the investigation leading to the convictions in this case.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked closely with and received substantial assistance from the Violent Crime Unit of the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office in the investigation and prosecution of Vickers, and Ms. Loeffler extends her thanks to Deputy District Attorney Gustaf Olson, the chief of that unit.

Updated February 9, 2015