In a recent court decision, a Las Vegas man was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his involvement in a carjacking. Steve Francis Pitchford Jr., 39, pleaded guilty to using a firearm during the crime, which occurred in June 2019. Pitchford approached two individuals sitting in a car at a dentist’s office parking lot and threatened them with a firearm before driving off in their vehicle. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrested Pitchford on June 28, 2019. This case was jointly investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with prosecution led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.
Las Vegas Man Sentenced For Use Of A Firearm In A Carjacking
Summary of the Case
On April 5, 2023, a Las Vegas man, Steve Francis Pitchford Jr., was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for carjacking two individuals at gunpoint. Pitchford pleaded guilty to using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, specifically the carjacking incident that took place on June 17, 2019. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the case, including background information on the defendant, the carjacking incident itself, the legal proceedings, the sentencing, the impact of the sentence, the role of law enforcement in the case, the investigation, the prosecution, and the announcement of the sentence.
Background Information on the Defendant
Steve Francis Pitchford Jr., a 39-year-old Las Vegas man, was the defendant in the carjacking case. While his personal details are not provided in the available information, it is crucial to note that Pitchford had a prior criminal history, indicating a propensity for engaging in unlawful activities. It is important to consider these factors when assessing the motive behind the carjacking incident.
The Carjacking Incident
The carjacking incident occurred on June 17, 2019, in the parking lot of a Las Vegas dentist’s office. Pitchford approached two individuals who were inside a car and pointed a firearm at them. He demanded that they exit the vehicle, after which he proceeded to drive away in their car. The details of the firearm used, including its make and model, have not been disclosed. The victims in this incident experienced the terrifying ordeal of having a gun pointed at them and their vehicle forcibly taken.
The Legal Proceedings
Following the carjacking incident, Pitchford was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on June 28, 2019. The arrest was followed by his booking into the appropriate law enforcement facility. Pitchford subsequently appeared in court for the initial proceedings related to his case. After being indicted and charged, a plea bargain was negotiated between the prosecution and the defense. Ultimately, Pitchford pleaded guilty to the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, acknowledging his involvement in the carjacking incident.
The sentencing for Steve Francis Pitchford Jr. was conducted by U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II. Judge Boulware sentenced Pitchford to seven years in prison, to be followed by a three-year period of supervised release. The judge’s decision took into consideration the severity of the crime committed and the impact it had on the victims. By imposing a substantial sentence, the court aims to hold the defendant accountable for his actions and ensure that he faces the appropriate consequences for his involvement in the carjacking.
Impact of the Sentence
The sentence imposed on Pitchford has several significant implications. Firstly, it serves as a form of punishment for the defendant, holding him accountable for his criminal behavior. Secondly, the sentencing aims to establish a deterrent effect for potential offenders, emphasizing the severe consequences that await those who engage in carjacking or similar crimes. Additionally, the sentence contributes to the protection of the community, as Pitchford will be incarcerated for a significant period, thereby preventing him from engaging in further criminal activities. Finally, the supervised release period offers an opportunity for rehabilitation, with the goal of reducing the risk of recidivism.
Law Enforcement’s Role in the Case
Law enforcement agencies played a crucial role in the resolution of the carjacking case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department jointly investigated the incident, working collaboratively to gather evidence, conduct interviews with witnesses, and gather information relevant to the prosecution. The involvement of these agencies underscores the commitment of law enforcement in addressing serious crimes within the community and ensuring that justice is served.
The investigation into the carjacking incident involved extensive efforts by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The investigation began with gathering background information on the case, identifying relevant witnesses, and collecting evidence related to the crime. This evidence included physical evidence such as forensic analysis of the stolen vehicle, as well as testimonial evidence obtained through interviews conducted with witnesses. Additionally, investigators obtained a statement from the defendant, which likely contributed to the evidence presented during the legal proceedings.
The prosecution of Steve Francis Pitchford Jr.’s case was led by former Special Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Portz and Assistant United States Attorney Dan Cowhig. These prosecutors meticulously reviewed the evidence gathered during the investigation and prepared a strong case against the defendant. Their efforts were instrumental in negotiating a favorable plea bargain and securing the guilty plea from Pitchford. By successfully prosecuting this case, the prosecution team helped ensure that justice was served and that the victims received some measure of closure.
The Announcement of the Sentence
The announcement of Steve Francis Pitchford Jr.’s sentence was made by United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI. This announcement serves as a public acknowledgment of the completion of the legal proceedings and the outcome of the case. It also highlights the collaborative efforts between the law enforcement agencies involved and emphasizes their dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. The implications of the sentence for future cases are significant, as it signals the commitment of law enforcement and the justice system in addressing and prosecuting individuals involved in similar crimes.