U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref Honored by Washington Women Lawyers for “Passing the Torch” and Going “Above and Beyond” to Mentor Women Lawyers
Spokane– Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Angel Abel Campos, age 24, of Toppenish, Washington, a documented Sureno gang member, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty in May 2018, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and participating in the discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. United States Senior District Judge Lonny R. Suko sentenced Campos to a 172-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison, and ordered Campos to pay $16,000 restitution to the victims.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on January 17, 2017, a male and female, who happened to be wearing the color red, were walking in the Yakamart parking lot in Toppenish, Washington. A male approached and asked “what do you bang?” The two pedestrians replied they were not gang members, left the Yakamart parking lot, and walked to a McDonald’s restaurant. Campos, who was driving a blue Mercury Mountaineer, drove another male around Toppenish until they spotted the two pedestrians. Campos slowed down, turned off his headlights, and pivoted his vehicle toward them. Several gunshots were fired at the two pedestrians. Both victims suffered gunshot wounds. The victims were unable to identify the persons involved in the shooting. The Toppenish Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began an investigation. Law enforcement officers developed leads from surveillance footage recovered from the Yakamart and McDonald’s restaurant.
On March 21, 2017, members of the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Taskforce arrested Campos due to an outstanding warrant. Inside a blue Mercury Mountaineer, the officers observed an assault rifle and high capacity magazine. The assault rifle was not utilized in the January 17, 2017, shooting incident.
Campos is a documented Sureno gang member and has a lengthy criminal history. As an adult, Campos has been convicted of attempting to elude a police officer, second degree assault, fourth degree assault, second degree possession of a firearm, and bail jumping.
United States Attorney Harrington said, “The sentence imposed sends a strong message to gang members that their actions will not be tolerated. These cases are an example of the superb work that that can be accomplished when federal, tribal, and local law enforcement work together. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute violent crimes that occur in the Eastern District of Washington.”
The cases were 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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Toppenish Police Department, the Yakama Nation Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Yakima Police Department, and the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Taskforce participated in the investigation of these two matters. The cases were prosecuted by Tom Hanlon, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.