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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wapato Man Who Instigated Drive by Shooting Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment

Spokane – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Adan Roberto Cortes, age 22, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for his involvement in a gang related drive by shooting. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr., sentenced the Defendant to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of court supervision upon release from Federal prison.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, sometime in early 2014, unknown persons fired gun shots at the residence of Adan Roberto Cortes ("Cortes.") On March 21, 2014, Cortes and three other individuals engaged in target shooting. The men consumed a great deal of alcohol and ingested marijuana. Cortes wanted to seek revenge for the prior shooting. The four men decided to look for Sureno gang members. The four men wanted to prove their loyalty to the Norteno street gang. Cortes was armed with a .22 caliber pistol and a 9 millimeter pistol. The four men entered the Yakama Nation and drove around a residential housing area looking for a 14 year old rival gang member. At approximately 5:00 p.m., the men spotted someone whom they believed to be a rival gang member. Cortes provided the .22 caliber firearm to an accomplice. The Defendant encouraged his accomplice to fire several shots. The shooter fired eight rounds and mistakenly hit a young child who was playing outside. As they sped away, the Defendant and others began yelling gang slurs. A neighbor observed the shooting and immediately contacted the police. A short time later, police observed the suspect vehicle and all four men were arrested.

Michael C. Ormsby said, "Gang related violence will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Washington. The United States Attorney’s Office is dedicated to seeking lengthy prison sentences for anyone involved in such horrific acts of violence."

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Patrol. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon, United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Washington.

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 24, 2015