For Immediate Release
Adams County Felon Sentenced to 26.5 Years in Prison for Robbery and Firearms Violations
Denver – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces a federal judge sentenced David Houston Vargas, age 30, to 26.5 years in prison for his role in robbing two stores using a firearm, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to facts presented at trial, on November 14, 2020, the defendant committed two armed robberies, one at a Foot Locker store in Lakewood, Colorado, and another at a DSW store in Westminster, Colorado. In both robberies, he brandished a revolver in order for him and his co-defendant to grab merchandise from the stores. The defendant told one store employee something to the effect of, “This is my first time…don’t do anything stupid.” Later that evening, the defendant got into a car chase with an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy, while his co-defendant in the car he was driving repeatedly fired shots at the deputy using the defendant’s revolver. Vargas was identified and arrested several days later.
The Honorable Judge R. Brooke Jackson presided over the four-day trial. The jury returned its verdict on June 3, 2022. Judge Jackson sentenced the defendant to 26.5 years in prison on November 2, 2022. Co-defendant Kitira Hayes, age 22, of Arvada, was sentenced to 14.75 years in federal prison on March 1, 2022, for her role in the armed robberies and shooting at a law enforcement officer. Taylor Amanda Isaac, age 25, of Lakewood, was sentenced to 4 years of probation on September 16, 2022.
“The defendant showed no regard for the safety of others. He will have a long time behind bars to reflect on how his actions harmed so many people in just a matter of hours,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “We appreciate the victims’ willingness to testify, the investigators thorough examination of the evidence, and the jury’s thoughtful deliberations in bringing this defendant to justice.”
“Dangerous criminals too often choose gun violence against law enforcement and innocent people who are simply trying to live their lives responsibly and in peace every day,” said Special Agent in Charge David S. Booth. “ATF will continue to vigorously investigate, apprehend, and pursue the prosecution of those who do.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Lakewood Police Department, the Westminster Police Department, and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celeste Rangel, Melissa Hindman and Elizabeth Young.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
Case number: 21-cr-00024