Gang member sentenced for shooting at police
Incidents extended from Madras to Warm Springs
A Warm Springs man described as a member of the Native Gangsta Tribe street gang, Waylon McKie Weaselhead, 23, was sentenced Monday for shooting at three Warm Springs police officers on May 20, 2010.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones sentenced Weaselhead, who had pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to three counts of assault with intent to commit murder, to 12 1/2 years in prison.
Weaselhead is already serving a 15-year sentence for shooting at Madras police officers earlier that same morning. A Madras police officer had attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle at 12:17 a.m. at Jefferson Street and U.S. Highway 97.
Weaselhead and accomplice Aldo Antunez, 33, sped off, firing numerous shots at the officers, who lost sight of the vehicle.
Madras police notified the Warm Springs Police Department that they were pursuing a white Ford Explorer, but neither agency saw the vehicle again until just after 7 a.m., when a Warm Springs officer attempted to pull over the vehicle on Highway 3 on the Warm Springs Reservation.
As Warm Springs officers Zachary Dowty in one vehicle and Aaron Gilbert and Andrew Elliot in another followed the speeding vehicle, Weaselhead "leaned out the passenger window of a vehicle with a rifle and repeatedly shot at and tried to kill three pursuing Warm Springs officers," according to Scott Kerin, assistant U.S. attorney, who prosecuted the case with Craig Gabriel, also an assistant U.S. attorney.
"Although the defendant hit both of the pursuing police vehicles with bullets, including blowing a hole through the front windshield of one car, the officers were not harmed and the defendant escaped," the prosecutor noted.
When Weaselhead was arrested over a month later and saw officer Dowty in the jail, he reportedly said, "I almost got you."
At the time of the shootings, Weaselhead and Antunez were both designated members of the Native Gangsta Tribe (NGT) street gang, according to investigators. Antunez, who also shot at a U.S. marshal who was trying to arrest him, is serving 15 1/2 years on federal charges, plus 15 years for the May 20, 2010, crimes.
Weaselhead's federal sentence will run consecutively to the state sentence. Jones also ordered Weaselhead to serve three years on supervised release after he leaves the Bureau of Prisons.
"This defendant is a violent gang member whose actions amply demonstrate that he has no respect for the sanctity of human life," stated U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall. "We greatly appreciate the massive multi-agency response to the events of May 20, 2010, which included personnel from federal, tribal, county, local and state law enforcement agencies who worked tirelessly to locate and apprehend the suspects involved."
The federal case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Warm Springs Police Department.