Javier Francisco Vigil, a 51-year-old man from Umatilla County, Oregon, faces federal charges after attempting to rob an Oregon casino on Aug. 17, 2022.
The Wildhorse Casino is located on Umatilla Indian Reservation land in Pendleton. The casino is a popular regional getaway destination since it’s located only about an hour from the Tri-Cities.
Charges Vigil is facing include:
- Committing a Hobbs Act robbery
- Using and carrying a firearm during and about a crime of violence
A Hobbs Act robbery takes the property of another person unlawfully, “by means of actual or threatened force.” It’s a federal crime since federal courts can prosecute any act that uses a gun in a crime of violence.
Vigil robbed Wildhorse Resort and Casino in broad daylight
Court documents have revealed the details of what happened during the incident in the Pendleton casino earlier this month.
Vigil allegedly entered the Wildhorse Casino in the early afternoon and made a beeline to the gaming area’s cashier cage. He handed a note to the cashier with his demand for $1 million.
Some reports say that the clerk laughed at Vigil, which caused him to draw a pistol he had holstered, but those reports are unconfirmed.
Confirmed reports, however, verify that Vigil did draw a pistol and pointed it at the cashier. He also stated a threat that he would “bathe everyone in blood” if his demands were not met.
The cashier clerk gave him almost $70,000 before Vigil left the casino.
A tribal police officer had responded to a call regarding the incident and was outside of the casino when Vigil exited. Vigil aimed his pistol at the officer and discharged “at least one round.”
The suspect says he shot the officer’s car intentionally. He wanted to escape but also wanted to avoid hurting the officer.
Gunfire was exchanged, however, and Vigil was injured during the shooting. He was transported to a local hospital by officers.
The suspect appeared in federal court for the first time on Aug. 19 before US Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo. The judge ordered that Vigil be detained until additional court proceedings occur.
Cassady Adams, Assistant US Attorney in the District of Oregon, is prosecuting Vigil’s case.
The FBI is further investigating the Oregon casino robbery
The FBI’s special agent in charge of the investigation was actually on Umatilla tribal land when the initial call came in. The agent was with a detective of the Umatilla Tribal Police Department.
A responding officer had called in that shots were fired at the casino, and the special agent responded with others.
Being one of the first law enforcement officers on the scene, the agent made an affidavit that describes the scene when they arrived. The suspect was lying down, incapacitated by a gunshot wound, with a clear bag of cash and a pistol next to him.
The FBI will handle the further investigation of this case. And the Hermiston Police Department as well as the Umatilla Tribal Police will assist.