Evanston man pleads guilty in federal court

EVANSTON — Jonathan Olivares entered guilty pleas to federal charges of carjacking and using a firearm while committing a crime of violence on Monday, Nov. 19, in U.S. District Court in Casper, with Judge Scott W. Skavdahl presiding. The federal charges were filed in September related to the June 26 incident at the Uinta County Complex when Olivares escaped from custody just after appearing in Third District Court on charges of delivery of heroin.

As Olivares was being taken from the courtroom on that June morning, he allegedly attacked and disarmed a detention officer with the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office and used that firearm to steal a car at gunpoint and leave the premises. A massive response from local law enforcement and a brief manhunt followed before Olivares was apprehended. 

Olivares was subsequently charged on seven counts related to that incident, including interfering with a peace officer by intentionally and knowingly disarming her of her firearm, escaping from detention by assault upon a person, aggravated robbery, felony theft of a vehicle and aggravated assault and battery, as well as theft of a firearm. 

In late August, Olivares appeared in district court and entered guilty pleas on all counts; however, a competency hearing was ordered before those pleas would be accepted. Prior to the court’s acceptance, however, all charges were dismissed by the Uinta County Attorney’s Office to allow the federal charges to proceed without conflicts. Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson said any charges that do not present a double-jeopardy concern will be refiled once the federal charges have been resolved. 

A trial on the federal charges was originally set to begin on Nov. 26. However, now that Olivares has entered guilty pleas to carjacking and using a firearm while committing a crime of violence, sentencing has been set for 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 7, 2019. 

Olivares faces a maximum penalty of no more than 15 years in prison on the carjacking charge and no less than seven years to life consecutive imprisonment on the charge of using a firearm while committing a crime of violence.


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