Federal Life Sentences Handed Down in Double Murder Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 11, 2012|
United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that in Midland this afternoon, 42-year-old Francisco Sauseda and 40-year-old Armando Sauseda, Sr., were sentenced to life in federal prison for their roles in two drug-related homicides in 2009.
On September 30, 2011, a jury convicted the defendants of one count of committing murder in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. In addition to the life imprisonment on the murder charge, United States District Judge Robert A. Junell also sentenced Armando to 87 months’ imprisonment; Francisco, 51 months’ imprisonment, on the drug conspiracy charge to run concurrently.
Evidence during the trial revealed that on June 1, 2009, a vehicle occupied by deceased, Steven Soto and Jose “Chico” Gardea, was ambushed in an alley in Odessa by Armando Sr., Francisco, Armando Sauseda, Jr., Auden Sauseda, and Moises Marquez, Jr. More than 150 shots were fired in the ambush, according to evidence presented to the jury. Gardea was killed instantly, according to testimony at trial. Armando Sr. then executed Soto with two shots to the back of the head while he crouched on the floorboard. Gardea and Soto were unarmed.
This case was investigated by agents with Federal Bureau of Investigation, together with the Odessa Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Klassen and Brandi Young prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.