News and Press Releases

greyhound bus hijacker receives federal sentence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2012

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced JOSE DARWIN FLORES, 33, of Arlington, Virginia to 235 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release. 
     A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on April 19, 2011.  On January 12, 2012, FLORES pled guilty to violence against a mass transportation provider, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1992(a)(6).

     According to the investigation, on February 3, 2011, FLORES was one of at least thirty passengers on a Greyhound bus that departed from Washington, D.C., destined for Miami, Florida.  Also among the passengers were elderly adults and minor children. As the bus entered North Carolina on Interstate 85, FLORES, who was intoxicated, approached the bus driver and demanded to get off the bus.  When the driver refused due to safety concerns, FLORES brandished a black pellet gun resembling a pistol and pointed the gun against the head of the driver.  He ordered the driver to stop the bus, and demanded that the driver turn on the interior lights so the passengers could see the gun. FLORES threatened the driver and struck the driver at least twice.  He pointed the gun to the chest of another passenger and threatened to “make an example” of the passenger. FLORES shouted profanities and threatened other passengers, and repeatedly told the passengers that he had nine bullets and, if anyone “tried anything,” he would kill nine passengers.

The driver complied with FLORES’ orders by exiting off of the Interstate and bringing the bus to a stop.  All but four passengers escaped by jumping from the windows and emergency exit of the bus. FLORES then ordered the driver to continue south on I-85.  With law enforcement in pursuit, FLORES again directed the driver to stop the bus along the shoulder of I-85, where he allowed two elderly passengers to exit the bus through the front door.  FLORES ordered the driver to continue.  In the vicinity of Henderson, NC, FLORES allowed the driver to exit to a gas station to use the restroom.  As the driver exited the bus, law enforcement officers directed FLORES to exit with his hands raised.  FLORES ignored their directives. FLORES then attempted to drive the bus away, but was unable to disengage the emergency brake.  He then exited the bus and stood by the door holding the gun by his side.  When FLORES refused the commands of officers to drop the gun, an officer approached around the front of the bus and subdued FLORES with the use of a taser.

Investigation of this case was conducted by ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.  Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan prosecuted the case.

 

 

 

 

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