SALT LAKE CITY — A man has pleaded guilty to firing shots at U.S. Marshals during a roundup of fugitives in Salt Lake City last year.
The incident happened last May before Deputy U.S. Marshals arrested two wanted fugitives in Salt Lake City and detained several other people for questioning.
Members of Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team (VFAST) went to a home at 1600 West and 500 South the night of May 20. Shortly after arriving on scene, they were fired upon by someone inside the home.
Marshals took three suspects into custody including Epifanio Welch, 46. Welch pleaded guilty this week in federal court to two felony counts, including assaulting a federal officer and shooting a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Salt Lake City, defense attorneys and federal prosecutors have agreed to recommend a 14-year prison sentence for Welch and the forfeiture of four firearms found at the scene of the crime at sentencing, currently scheduled for June 27, 2022.
According to a complaint filed by federal prosecutors, officers used a beanbag gun to breach a basement window in an attempt to coax Welch and another suspect out of the basement of the home.
But, instead of exiting, the pair opened fire at officers, who quickly retreated behind a police vehicle, with several bullets lodging in the police vehicle. No officers were hurt.
Eventually, after Welch and Humphrey were taken into custody, four guns were found in the basement. Welch’s criminal history included five felony offenses and he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.