VICTORIA, Texas — A south Texas man who fired at members of the U.S. Marshals Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force attempting to take him into custody has pleaded guilty to federal charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas announced today.
Today in federal court, 20-year-old Jose Luis Vasquez Jr of Bloomington, Texas, which is located just southeast of Corpus Christi, admitted in a federal plea to assaulting a federal marshal by discharging a firearm in her direction and using a weapon during a crime of violence.
On February 3, 2021, a U.S. deputy marshal and members of the Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force were attempting to arrest Vasquez at his residence and had announced their presence as law enforcement personnel when he immediately exited the residence and opened fire, shouting "I'm not going back."
Federal prosecutors say he fired a Smith and Wesson M7P40 .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun at authorities, causing the female U.S. deputy marshal to shield herself behind a truck for protection.
The handgun's magazine held at least 20 rounds of ammunition, according to prosecutors. Vasquez, according to authorities, fired numerous times at the truck, striking the door of the vehicle. Fragments of Vasquez's gunfire also allegedly hit the body of one of the authorities.
Authorities returned fire and struck Vasquez. He was transported by helicopter to a San Antonio-area hospital in critical condition, at the time.
Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey accepted Vasquez's plea and set his sentencing for September 7, 2021. At that time, Vasquez faces a sentence up to 20 years for the assault and a minimum of 10 years for the firearms conviction, which must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed.
He has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.
The FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshals Service conducted the investigation with assistance from the Victoria County Sheriff ‘s Office and Victoria County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patti Hubert Booth is prosecuting the case.