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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 19, 2018

California Man Sentenced to 150 Months in Federal Prison for Violent Assault Resulting in Serious Injury

PORTLAND, Ore. – Victor Joseph Contreras, 23, of Fresno, California, was sentenced today to 150 months in federal prison for charges stemming from a March 2016 shooting death on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

According to court documents, on March 19, 2016, Contreras and codefendant Julian Darryl James Simpson attended a party on the reservation. As a result of escalating disputes between suspected gang members at the party, Contreras and Simpson were asked to leave.

When other party goers left the house, Contreras and Simpson opened fire on them using semiautomatic pistols. Simpson fired at least one shot at a victim, striking him in the back of the head, and fired additional shots into a nearby car. Contreras, upon hearing the gunshots, fired more than 20 rounds into the crowd of party goers, striking a second victim just above the ankle. The first victim was medically evacuated to a nearby hospital but later died from his injuries. Contreras fled the scene, but was arrested shortly thereafter. Simpson was arrested a week later in Lewiston, Idaho with the firearm used to kill the victim.

Contreras previously pleaded guilty to one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence on July 5, 2017. Upon completion of his prison sentence, Contreras will be on supervised release for 5 years.

Simpson pleaded guilty to second degree murder on October 27, 2017. He was sentenced 25 years in prison followed by a 5-year term of supervised release.

The case was jointly investigated by the FBI and the Umatilla Tribal Police Department, and prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin, Jennifer J. Martin, Paul T. Maloney, and John C. Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated July 19, 2018