For Immediate Release
Gang Member Pleads Guilty After Ballistic Database Links His Guns to Four Drive-By Shootings
A gang member involved in several drive-by shootings in Dallas pleaded guilty today to multiple gun and drug charges, announced U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Rafael Rubi, 24, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance Tuesday morning before Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford.
Using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN, federal agents were able to link shell casings found at the scenes of at least four drive-by shootings in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood to firearms found in Mr. Rubi’s home and car.
“Intelligence gleaned from ATF’s ballistic database helped get a violent criminal off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We are proud to partner with ATF to use every investigative tool at our disposal – from shrewd agents to sophisticated technology – to track criminals wielding unlawful firearms against our communities.”
“Use of ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network can provide essential leads linking firearm evidence recovered from associated or seemingly-unrelated crime scenes, even if the crimes occur in separate jurisdictions,” stated ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek III. “Every gun tells a story. In this case, the use of NIBIN capture and comparison technology revealed the connection between the firearms seized from Mr. Rubi and several violent crimes committed in the Dallas area. NIBIN is an excellent investigative tool. ATF works with our local, state and federal partners to advance the use of the technology to prevent, solve and prosecute violent crime offense.”
In plea papers, Mr. Rubi, a member of the street gang La Familia Homeboy, admits he was involved in all four drive-by shootings, including one shooting that targeted a driver previously involved in a car accident with Mr. Rubi’s girlfriend and another shooting that targeted the driver’s family members.
In total, approximately 119 cartridge casings were recovered at the scenes of the shootings.
The majority of the casings were later linked to two Glock pistols – one found stashed in a toilet tank in Mr. Rubi’s apartment (along with heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia), and another recovered from his Ford Mustang during a traffic stop hours after the final shooting.
During that traffic stop, officers observed Mr. Rubi’s passenger making “furtive movements” toward the floorboard, where they later located the loaded Glock pistol. Mr. Rubi admits he handed the Glock to the passenger and asked him to hide it.
A convicted felon, Mr. Rubi now faces a sentence of five years up to life in federal prison. He is set to be sentenced on December 18 before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Dallas Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebekah Ricketts and Gary Tromblay prosecuted the case.