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Convicted South Hall carjacker gets prison term
Buford man earns 15-year sentence for 2011 case
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A Buford man who pleaded guilty to a 2011 carjacking in Flowery Branch was sentenced to prison Thursday in federal court in Gainesville.

Rodolfo Esquivel, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William C. O’Kelley for using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, the office of U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates announced in a news release.

Esquivel received 15 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $10,034.

Esquivel pleaded guilty to the charge June 5. He has at least two prior felony convictions involving illegal drugs.

He was accused of burglarizing a home in Flowery Branch, then carjacking the owner’s vehicle when she returned home during the burglary, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

“Simply put, convicted felons who continue to possess firearms after conviction face more prison time when caught,” Yates said. “Here, Rodolfo Esquivel’s actions went far beyond possession of a firearm; his violent use of the gun to commit a carjacking after he committed burglary, endangered the life of an innocent citizen.”

According to charges presented in court, Esquivel and an accomplice went to a home on McEver Road on March 29, 2011. While Esquivel broke into the house and gathered items to steal, his accomplice waited outside in a car, officials said.

During the burglary, the homeowner returned. When she approached the accomplice, he started his vehicle and left. As she tried to leave, Esquivel demanded her keys, pointed his weapon at her and threatened to kill her, firing once into the ground beside the driveway.

He took the woman’s keys, smashed her cellphone, then returned for a pillowcase full of items stolen from the home. He left in her car, threatening her again as she tried to retrieve her purse from the open car window.

“Crimes like carjackings, home invasions and armed robberies will always be a priority of ATF and the law enforcement partners in this investigation,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow said. “This type of violence jeopardizes innocent life in a matter of seconds.”

This case was investigated by ATF special agents with assistance from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and Gwinnett County Police Department.

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