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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Gang Member Sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison for Carjacking

Yakima Valley, Washington Man Sentenced in Federal Court

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Rolando Vargas, age 31, of Sunnyside, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on October 29, 2019, to Carjacking. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Vargas to a 7-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on July 31, 2019, patrol deputies from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported carjacking in Outlook, Washington. While investigating, deputies learned that several individuals were involved, including Vargas, a documented Bell Garden Locos (“BGL”) Sureno gang member. Investigators also learned that one of the individuals involved brandished a firearm and ordered the victim out of the vehicle, whereupon the victim was assaulted resulting in injury to his face and hands. A separate individual then entered the victim’s vehicle and drove away followed by Vargas and the other participants in separate vehicles.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Vargas has been removed from the community. Today’s sentence is significant and sends a clear message to those who may commit crimes like this that your criminal conduct will not be tolerated. The United States Attorney’s Office works closely with our federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute violent offenders and to deter criminal conduct. We commend the law enforcement officers with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated this case. Their partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this case.”

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.

This case was investigated by the Yakima Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Patrick J. Cashman, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
1:19-CR-2058-SMJ-3
Updated January 20, 2021