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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Washington

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 13, 2011

Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney

Contact: Thomas Rice, First Assistant U.S. Attorney
(509) 353-2767

Felon with Firearm Receives 10 Years in Prison

Yakima – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Aaron Lopez Garcia, age 32, of Yakima, Washington, was sentenced last Thursday to 120 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a felon and escape from federal custody. Aaron Lopez Garcia was sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed for these offenses; 10 years for possessing the firearm and 5 years for escape, both to be served concurrently. He will also be on court supervision for three years after his release from prison. Aaron Lopez Garcia was ordered to pay $2,385.33 in restitution to the City of Sunnyside.

On the evening of February 10, 2005, officers with the Yakima Police Department Gang Unit temporarily detained Aaron Lopez Garcia during the course of vehicle stop on North 1st Street in Yakima, Washington. Aaron Lopez Garcia was a known Norteno gang member with a history of committing violent offenses and unlawfully possessing firearms. During this contact, officers found Aaron Lopez Garcia with a loaded 9mm pistol. A jury later convicted Aaron Lopez Garcia of the weapons charge. He was held in custody at the Sunnyside City Jail while awaiting sentencing then set for November 30, 2006. However, during the early morning hours of that day, Aaron Lopez Garcia and three other inmates escaped from jail through a small hole in a bathroom ceiling.

While other inmates were quickly apprehended, Aaron Lopez Garcia remained at large for nearly three years. The United States Marshals Service continuously sought the whereabouts of Aaron Lopez Garcia throughout that time. During his flight, he became one of the Marshals Service’s 15 most wanted fugitives and was featured on America’s Most Wanted. A tip led to Aaron Lopez Garcia’s arrest by police in Colima, Mexico, on November 6, 2009. He was later returned to the State of Washington for sentencing.

The investigation was led by the Yakima Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service, with the assistance of the Colima Police Department and United States Customs and Border Protection.