FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS CONVICTED VIOLENT FELON FOR ARMED ASSAULT ON A FEDERAL OFFICER AND OTHER FEDERAL FIREARMS OFFENSES
DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas returned an indictment late yesterday charging Jason Heath Yates, 39, with the armed assault on a federal officer and related federal felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Yates has been in custody since his arrest on August 16, 2011.
Specifically, the indictment charges Yates, aka “Rowdy,” with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of assault on a federal officer, one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and one count of possessing a stolen firearm.
Yates was a fugitive on state charges for kidnaping and assault. Deputy U.S. Marshals, tasked to arrest him, located him at a trailer park in Hunt County, Texas, on August 16, 2011. Running out of a trailer, Yates encountered a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal and fired a small-caliber pistol at him, but missed. Another Special Deputy U.S. Marshal fired his weapon, hitting Yates and causing him to fall to the ground. Yates had another firearm, a stolen revolver, in his pocket. According to charges in the indictment, Yates has at least three previous convictions for violent felony offenses.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, Yates faces the following penalties:
Count 1: being a felon in possession of a firearm (18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1)) - mandatory 15-year sentence and up to a $250,000 fine
Count 2: assault on a federal officer (18 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1) and (b)) - up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
Count 3: using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii)) - mandatory 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine
Count 4: possession of a stolen firearm (18 U.S.C. §§ 922(j) and 924(a)(2)) - up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service North Texas Fugitive Task Force. Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Lewis and Gary Tromblay are in charge of the prosecution.
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