DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An armed carjacker who repeatedly disguised himself as a police officer was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
Fernando Fabian Alvarez, 36, of Mexico, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on Sept. 20 after an investigation led by the FBI Dallas Field Office.
“This Defendant exploited innocent citizens’ trust in law enforcement to commit acts of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We will not tolerate criminals brazenly impersonating police.”
“Police officers are trusted members of the communities they serve. When someone impersonates an officer, it violates the trust our citizens have in law enforcement,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The FBI and its law enforcement partners encourage the public to report anyone they believe is a police impersonator. We will hold these individuals accountable for using a law enforcement uniform to harm others.”
In May, Alvarez pleaded guilty to carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence in Addison.
According to his plea papers, Alvarez admitted that he and an accomplice, donning police uniforms and badges, approached their victim at an apartment complex, striking him in the face with a 9 millimeter pistol. They then placed the victims in handcuffs, bound his ankles and stuffed him into his own car.
While the victim was restrained inside the vehicle, a Mercedes Benz sedan, his apartment was burglarized and his valuables – including cash, jewelry, a smartphone, and a pistol – were taken from him.
Alvarez admits he and his accomplice later drove the helpless victim to another part of the apartment complex and abandoned him next to a trash dumpster. Alvarez then abandoned the Mercedes Benz in a parking lot.
At the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Lynn noted that in addition to the armed carjacking offense, Alvarez admitted in his plea papers to committing other violent offenses in the Dallas area, including:
• A home invasion in Frisco, Texas on December 20, 2016. Alvarez and two accomplices, all wearing police uniforms, confronted the homeowner in his garage, drawing pistols and shouting that they were the police. They then bound the homeowner, his wife, and his teenage son at gunpoint, and took approximately $6,000 in cash and other valuables.
• A home invasion in Colleyville on January 26, 2017. Alvarez and his accomplices knocked on the house’s front door, announcing that they were U.S. Marshals. When the victim opened the door, they forced their way into the home at gunpoint, placed the victim in handcuffs, and took jewelry, clothing, a pistol, and an automobile.
• A home invasion in Duncanville on May 1, 2017. Alvarez and an accomplice confronted the homeowner in his garage at gunpoint and handcuffed him. The two robbers brought the homeowner inside his home and when the homeowner—believing that they were police officers—asked to see the search warrant, one of the robbers struck him twice in the head with a pistol. The pair then took jewelry, approximately $10,000 in cash, and a pistol from the victim.
Alvarez, a citizen of Mexico residing in the U.S. illegally, will likely face deportation proceedings after serving his sentence. He is ineligible for parole.