Stevie Marie Anne Vigil Sentenced to Federal Prison for Purchasing Firearm for Evan Ebel
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 03, 2014|
DENVER—Stevie Marie Anne Vigil, of Commerce City, Colorado, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 27 months in federal prison for knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon. Following her prison term, Vigil was ordered to serve three years on supervised release. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Vigil was remanded into federal custody. Today’s sentencing was announced by United States Attorney John Walsh; 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Denver Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey; and Colorado Bureau of Investigations Director Ron Sloan.
Vigil was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on August 8, 2013. She pled guilty before Judge Arguello on October 22, 2013. Vigil was sentenced today, Monday, March 3, 2014.
According to the indictment and other court documents, on March 8, 2013, Vigil knowingly disposed of and transferred a firearm to Evan Ebel, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that Evan Ebel had been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. Ebel used the firearm he received from Vigil to murder Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements and a hard-working family man named Nathan Leon. It was also used to shoot a Texas law enforcement officer in the chest and head during a routine traffic stop. Finally, Ebel fired the weapon out the window at law enforcement officers while engaged in a high-speed pursuit that reached speeds of over 120 miles per hour.
“Today’s sentence was just,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Defendant Vigil unlawfully bought a gun for Evan Ebel, knowing he was a felon and knowing that he was capable of violence. Today’s sentence cannot restore Tom Clements or Nate Leon to their families or undo the damage done by Ebel with that weapon. But it sends a clear message of the determination of local, state, and federal law enforcement in Colorado to work together to ensure the safety of the public and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”
“Today, Stevie Vigil lost her freedom for giving a handgun to a known felon,” said George H. Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District. “Her reckless disregard for the law resulted in the cold-blooded murder of two good men—two good fathers, husbands, and sons. The cooperative efforts of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hurlbert and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the pursuit of justice are the reasons Ms. Vigil received the sentence that she did. We will continue to vigorously enforce laws that seek to keep guns out of the hands of convicted violent felons. Those who would wantonly provide a gun to a convicted felon should note that their treatment by the justice system will be a direct reflection of the worst outcome of that felon’s use of the gun.”
“We know that gun crime in Colorado is fueled by weapons that have been trafficked into the wrong hands,” said Denver ATF Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey. “Unfortunately, this case is an example of the destruction and violence that is inflicted on our communities and is the direct result of straw purchasing. ATF is committed to reducing gun violence by continuing to investigate and arresting those who illegally supply firearms to prohibited individuals.”
“The investigation involving Stevie Vigil was a collaborative effort of the local, state, and federal public safety community, and it was the tireless work by the investigative and prosecution teams that yielded the results of today’s sentencing,” said Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director Ron Sloan. “However, as law enforcement spent countless hours on this case, the families of the victims remained in the forefront with all of us. Their journey this past year is difficult to comprehend, and it is the hope that Vigil’s sentencing brings some solace to the families of Tom Clements, Nathan Leon, and to Deputy James Boyd.”
The prosecution of this case is a result of a joint federal and state investigation involving multiple agencies, including: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI); the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office; the Denver Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Englewood Police Department; the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office; the Texas Rangers; the Wise County; Texas Sheriff’s Department; the Texas Department of Public Safety; and the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Vigil was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hosley, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Major Crimes Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hurlbert, Assistant District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.