Marcos Vargas Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced to Robbery, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Attempt to Elude, and Misdemeanor Assault

(THE DALLES, Ore.) – Today, Wasco County District Attorney Matthew Ellis announced that 29-year-old Marcos Vargas received a 90-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to Robbery in the Second Degree, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Attempt to Elude, and Assault in the Fourth Degree.  Vargas also pled to Attempt to Elude in a Gilliam County matter.

Vargas pled guilty from NORCOR on September 8, 2021 and sentenced the same day.    

By pleading guilty, Vargas admitted to 1) while in the course of committing unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, he prevented resistance from the vehicle’s owner by conduct indicating he was armed with a deadly weapon; 2) knowingly causing physical injury to law enforcement, while in the course of official duty; 3) having previously been convicted of a felony, knowingly in possession of a firearm; 4) while in a vehicle, fleeing a pursuing officer, operating a marked police car giving an audible signal to stop; and 5) in a separate incident, causing physical injury to another inmate while in custody.

On November 3, 2020, officers were in search of a suspect, later identified as Vargas, in a BMW that had eluded officers in Gilliam County, and the chase had terminated on I-84 for safety reasons.  The pursuit picked up again in Wasco County, where OSP used spike strips in an attempt to slow down the vehicle.   Vargas continued to drive on the rims into The Dalles, where he abandoned the BMW, and stole a Subaru at gunpoint from its owner.  Vargas took the Subaru onto Highway 97 towards South Wasco County, eluding law enforcement again.  Sheriff Deputies attempted to use spike strips to stop Vargas near Maupin, where he avoided the spikes, but then fled the vehicle.  Defendant resisted and attempted to fight off multiple deputies, as he tried to flee.  In the process, Vargas punched and injured one deputy, before he was tazed and taken into custody. 

In an unrelated incident, on July 11, 2021, Vargas assaulted another inmate at NORCOR on July 11, 2021 by punching him in the face.

The hard work and fast actions of the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, The Dalles City Police, and Oregon State Police ensured Vargas’s arrest and holding him accountable for his actions on November 3. The district attorney’s office would like to give particular recognition to all the Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputies that were able to take Vargas into custody; Ray Thomas, Matt Tuia, Jeff Hall, Jesse Shirley, and Kirsten Leroue.

In addition to the prison sentence, the court placed Vargas on 36 months of post-prison supervision.  If he violates conditions put in place by his post-prison supervisor, he could receive further sanctions in the future. Vargas will be next be transported to Jefferson County, where he is facing unrelated charges before given to the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections.

This case was settled by District Attorney Matthew Ellis.  The misdemeanor assault was settled by Deputy DA Michelle Thomas.

No additional information is available for release at this time.