A drive-by shooting at Yager Apartments has resulted in two brothers being sentenced to serve 120 days in Warren County Jail and face possible deportation.
One of the bullets fired just missed striking a woman by 2 or 3 inches, according to McMinnville Police.
The brothers, Jesus Vargas, 24, and Miguel Vargas, 20, appeared in front of Judge Bart Stanley where they were sentenced to serve 120 days of a two-year sentence and be deported depending on their citizenship statuses. The men’s sentences for reckless endangerment occurred after five gunshots were fired into two apartments.
On Nov. 17, 2019, Jesus and Miguel were attending a party at Yager Apartments. The brothers got into a physical altercation with some people attending the party.
The owner of the apartment told the brothers they had to leave. Party-goers believed the two men had gone, but it was discovered they were sitting in their truck outside. Aggressive exchanges began in the parking lot until the brothers finally left.
“The party got out of hand as alcohol was consumed and things began escalating quickly between them and other party-goers,” said detective Marty Cantrell. “It got to the point where the person who lived in the apartment asked them to leave. Everyone thought that was the end of the issue until the brothers returned a little later with the weapon.”
Approximately 20 minutes later, the Vargas brothers returned to the apartment complex, turned around in the parking lot and began coming back toward the apartment. Veronica Resindiz was standing on the porch at the time. The truck stopped in front of the residence and shots were fired into the apartment. The brothers then fled the scene.
“A total of five bullet casings were discovered to have struck A-3 and A-4 apartments at Yager Apartments,” said Cantrell. “We discovered four of the bullets the night of the incident with most of those bullets hitting high into the attic. However, when we went back to investigate the scene the next day, a casing was found to have struck the side of the doorway at A-4.”
The victims, Cornelio Francisco, Veronica Resindiz and Joel Resendiz Rocha, were able to get a description of the Vargas truck and claimed the men had left in a Nissan Frontier with a skull sticker on the back window. Earlier that night, Veronica Resindiz had taken photos of the Vargas brothers attending the party, proving they had been there.
“Those photos helped us identify who the suspects were,” said Cantrell. “The problem was the names the victims gave us were not the brothers’ real names. They knew the men under different aliases.”
The following day, Cantrell discovered the brothers worked at the same nursery as one of the victims, which was also a connection to the party. Cantrell went to the nursery where he located Jesus and Miguel Vargas. The truck the victims described as being involved in the drive-by shooting was located at the nursery with a skull sticker on the rear window.
“After we found the truck, the owner of the nursery summoned the Vargases into the office where they were placed into custody,” said Cantrell. “While we were waiting for the brothers to come to the office, we noticed spent shell casings in the front of the truck. We held the vehicle, detained the two men and were given consent to search the vehicle.”
Jesus Vargas admitted to being the owner of the vehicle and being responsible for the shooting at the apartment complex the previous night. He also told authorities a pistol and magazine were located inside the vehicle. A 9mm Lorcin pistol was recovered from under the passenger seat.
The shell cases were found to match the pistol. The shots were fired from inside the truck by rolling the passenger-side window down and firing into the residence, resulting in the brothers being charged with reckless endangerment.
“Fortunately, no one was hit during the shooting, but one of the rounds came a couple of inches from striking Veronica Resindiz as she stood outside on the porch,” said Cantrell. “Had she been over another two or three inches, she would’ve been hit.”
Both men will serve 120 days of two-year sentences in Warren County Jail. They are credited with time served from Nov. 18, 2019 to Feb. 12, 2020.
Their legal status is still trying to be determined. If the two are not legal citizens of the U.S., they may face deportation after serving their sentences. An immigration hold may be placed on them, resulting in the brothers either being taken into federal custody or being sent back to their original country once the status of their citizenship is determined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.