Stevie Marie Vigil Pleads Guilty to Purchasing Firearm for Evan Ebel
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 22, 2013|
DENVER—Stevie Marie Anne Vigil, age 22, of Commerce City, Colorado, pled guilty this afternoon before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to the one and only count of the indictment, knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, United States Attorney John Walsh, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Denver Acting Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey announced. Vigil was indicted on August 8, 2013. Today’s guilty plea did not involve a plea agreement. The defendant pled guilty to the indictment as charged. Vigil is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Arguello on January 16, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
According to the indictment, 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.
“As this horrifying case starkly highlights, purchasing a firearm for a felon can and likely will result in tragedy,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “For that reason, acting as a ‘straw purchaser’ of guns is also a grave federal felony, one that this office will prosecute to the full extent of the law. The defendant here has admitted her guilt to committing this crime, a crime that led directly to the murder of an innocent pizza delivery driver, Nate Leon, and the Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements.”
“Stevie Vigil gave a known and dangerous felon a firearm that he later used to murder Mr. Leon and Mr. Clements,” said George H. Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District. “Today, she is being held accountable for her role in helping to murder two good men. Mr. Leon was a dedicated family man who had the bad luck to be working hard one night. Mr. Clements tirelessly devoted his career to improving the lives of prisoners. Providing a firearm to a felon like Evan Ebel is a deplorable and dangerous act which can be a death sentence for a complete stranger.”
“We know through our investigation that straw purchasing is a major source of crime guns,” said Denver Acting Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop the illegal purchase and transfer to violent criminals.”
Vigil faces not more than 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The indictment 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); El Paso County Sheriff’s Office; the Denver Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Texas Rangers; the Wise County, Texas Sheriff’s Department; the Texas Department of Public Safety; and the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Vigil is being 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.