A Buford man charged with carjacking his burglary victim’s car when she returned to her Flowery Branch home in March 2011 pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. federal court in Gainesville.
Rodolfo Esquivel, 28, was indicted Feb. 28. He was charged with using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A sentencing date has not yet been determined. The sentencing will take place in Gainesville before Senior U.S. District Judge William C. O’Kelley.
According to information presented in court, Esquivel and an accomplice went to a home on McEver Road on March 29, 2011, with plans to commit a daytime burglary.
While Esquivel broke into the house and gathered items to steal, his accomplice waited outside in a car, court records showed.
During the burglary, the woman who lived in the home returned. She approached the accomplice in his car and he left. She then saw Esquivel coming toward her and turned to leave, court records show.
Esquivel demanded the woman’s car keys, pointed his weapon at her and threatened to kill her, the statements read.
Court records stated Esquivel fired the gun once into the ground, again demanding the keys and shouting, “This is real!” He took the woman’s keys, smashed her cellphone, then retrieved a pillowcase full of items he had stolen, the records stated.
He then entered the woman’s car, threatening her again as she attempted to retrieve her purse through the car’s open window. He then fled.
“Rodolfo Esquivel not only carried a weapon when he burglarized the victim’s house, but he used the gun to intimidate the innocent victim into giving up her vehicle, even going so far as to recklessly fire the weapon to show he was serious,” Yates said in the release.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the Gwinnett County Police Department.