News and Press Releases

Man Who Carjacked a Flowery Branch Woman’s Car when She Returned Home During Burglary is Sentenced

October 25, 2012


GAINESVILLE, Ga. -  Rodolfo Esquivel, 28, of Buford, Georgia, who burglarized a private home in Flowery Branch and then carjacked the owner’s car when she returned home during the burglary, was sentenced today by United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley for using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, announced United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  Esquivel pleaded guilty in June 2012.

“Simply put: convicted felons who continue to possess firearms after conviction face more prison time when caught,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Here, Rodolfo Esquivel’s actions went far beyond possession of a firearm; his violent use of the gun to commit a carjacking after he committed burglary, endangered the life of an innocent citizen.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow commented, “Crimes like carjackings, home invasions and armed robberies will always be a priority of ATF and the law enforcement partners in this investigation. This type of violence jeopardizes innocent life in a matter of seconds.” Sweetow further said, “As this investigation shows, ATF’s mission to reduce violent crime focuses on the worst perpetrators in the community and the sentence received from the courts should send a clear message of deterrence to those individuals who contemplate committing serious crime(s) in the Northern Judicial District of Georgia.”

Esquivel was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,034.  Esquivel pleaded guilty on June 5, 2012, to using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.  He has at least two prior felony convictions involving illegal drugs. 

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On March 29, 2011, Rodolfo Esquivel and an accomplice went to a home located on McEver Road, in Flowery Branch, Georgia.  Esquivel was planning to commit a daytime burglary and was looking for houses where the owners were not at home.  While Esquivel broke into the house and gathered items to steal, his accomplice waited outside in the car. 

During the burglary, the woman who lived in the home returned.  As she drove up her driveway she noticed the unfamiliar car where the accomplice was waiting.  Seeing the strange car in her driveway, she parked her car, approached the accomplice, and asked him what he was doing there.  The accomplice gestured toward the house and replied that his friend was looking for a gas can.  As the woman started toward the house, the accomplice started his vehicle and fled the scene.  The woman then saw Rodolfo Esquivel coming toward her from inside of her garage, and she turned and tried to leave.  When Esquivel yelled at her to stop, she noticed he was carrying a handgun.  Esquivel then discovered that his accomplice had fled, leaving him at the scene without transportation.  Esquivel demanded that the woman give him the keys to her vehicle, pointed his weapon at her and threatened to kill her.  Then, as if to emphasize how serious he was, Esquivel aimed the weapon to the side of the driveway and fired it once into the ground, again demanding the keys and shouting “this is real!”  Esquivel took the woman’s keys and her cell phone, smashing the cell phone on the ground. 

He then returned to the garage and retrieved the pillowcase full of items he had stolen from the woman’s home.  As Esquivel entered the woman’s car, she attempted to retrieve her purse from the car by reaching through the car’s open window.  Esquivel stopped her by pointing his gun at her and saying “bitch, I will kill you!”  He then fled the scene.  The woman then ran to her neighbor’s home and called 911.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Gwinnett County Police Department. 

Special Assistant United States Attorney Steven E. Butler is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is




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