Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Aiming a Laser Pointer at Spokane County Sheriff’s Helicopter and Life Flight Helicopter
Yakima – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that David Allen Vickers, age 40, of Yakima, Washington , was sentenced for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Senior District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle determined that, based on Vickers' lengthy criminal history which includes convictions for violent crimes and drug trafficking, he is an armed career criminal. Accordingly, Judge Van Sickle sentenced Vickers to a 188 month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5 year term of court supervision upon release from Federal prison. The Defendant has been in custody since his arrest on January 19, 2012.
On October 4, 2012, Vickers pleaded guilty to the charge of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. According to information disclosed during the proceedings in this case, on January 19, 2012, the Vickers armed himself with a shotgun and entered a convenience store located in Yakima, Washington. Vickers attempted to rob the business owner. The business owner grabbed the shotgun during the attempted robbery. The shotgun discharged during the struggle. Vickers then ran out of the store. The business owner chased Vickers and fought with him in the snow. During the struggle, the business owner was able to take possession of the shotgun. Vickers then attempted to obtain a ride from citizens driving in the area. Officers with the Yakima Police Department were called to the scene and quickly arrested him. Vickers claimed that he had been forced to commit the robbery to pay for a drug debt.
Michael C. Ormsby said, "The United States Attorney's Office, the Yakima Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, are committed to working in partnership to protect communities from convicted felons who possess firearms and endanger the lives of citizens within the Eastern District of Washington." Mr. Ormsby emphasized that overriding personal safety concerns dictate that private citizens should seek assistance from law enforcement officials rather than confronting and engaging armed criminals.
This matter was investigated by the Yakima Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Tom Hanlon, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.