A Las Vegas resident who was standing trial for an armed carjacking pleaded guilty late Monday to the federal charge.
On the first day of trial, after a jury selection was complete, Raul Casarez, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30.
As part of the plea agreement, Casarez admitted on Jan. 1, 2015, he and two accomplices entered a 63-year-old man’s home in Henderson. Once inside the victim’s house, Casarez pointed the firearm at the victim’s face and demanded money. He tied the victim up and threatened to shoot the victim if the victim didn’t do what he said to do.
Once the victim was restrained, Casarez stole a television, a camera, and other property from the house. Then he loaded the stolen property into the victim’s pickup truck and left the residence, taking the stolen items and vehicle with him. He later unloaded the property into a separate vehicle and parked the stolen truck near the Fiesta hotel-casino in Henderson where it was later recovered by law enforcement.
Forensic evidence, inclding fingerprints, tied Casarez and his accomplices to the crime. At the time of this offense, Casarez was wanted for violations of his federal supervised release for an underlying felony escape conviction from 2013.
Casarez has multiple prior felony convictions, including priors for robbery, attempted assault with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm and escape. Casarez’s accomplices previously pleaded guilty to charges arising from this event.
The maximum statutory penalty is 15 years and a fine of $250,000.
The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Henderson Police Department, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Gang Task Force.