Skip to main content
Press Release

California Fugitive Who Shot At Swat Agents Sentenced To Over 18 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nevada

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A California fugitive who shot multiple times at federal agents as they were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on him at an apartment in Las Vegas in May 2013, was sentenced today to 225 months in prison and five years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Nevada Patrick Brodsky.  

Rene Alexander Dendaas, 39, of West Covina, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon.  Dendaas pleaded guilty on Jan. 21 to one count of assault on a federal officer and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

“This case demonstrates the danger that law enforcement agents and officers face each and every day in doing their jobs,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Fortunately, the defendant was arrested, and despite the many shots he fired at law enforcement, the situation was resolved with no one being seriously injured or killed.”

According to the plea agreement, on May 21, 2013, four FBI SWAT Team Agents in Las Vegas went to an apartment on East Karen Avenue in Las Vegas to arrest Dendaas, who was wanted on homicide charges in San Bernardino.  As the agents announced their presence at the door of the apartment and attempted to gain entry, Dendaas fired eight or nine gunshot rounds through the door at the agents, who were using ballistic shields. The SWAT agents again announced their presence, and Dendaas fired at them again through the door.  One SWAT agent returned fire, and Dendaas fired again, with several of his rounds entering other apartments in his building and in an adjacent building. The four SWAT agents then escaped the area.  One of the agents suffered minor injuries from Dendaas’ gunshots.  Negotiators talked with Dendaas throughout the night, and at about 2:00 a.m., they introduced tear gas into the apartment and Dendaas exited and was taken into custody.   

“This sentence demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of the FBI SWAT team and the FBI-led Criminal Apprehension Team (CAT), and more broadly, of law enforcement coordination and collaboration in apprehending and prosecuting violent fugitives,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brodsky. “The FBI will continue to work with our partners to ensure these violent criminals are captured and brought to justice.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip N. Smith, Jr.

Updated July 21, 2015