MIAMI, FL – A grand jury in the Southern District of Florida has returned an indictment charging a South Florida man with crimes related to a one-night crime spree, including armed robbery, carjacking, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to court documents, in the early hours of August 18, 2021, Frankie David Vargas, II, 33, robbed a Westar gas station in Miami, Florida. Vargas, who was driving a stolen car, pulled up to the gas station, pointed a firearm at the attendant, and demanded that he open the register. Vargas removed the cash from the till, stole the attendant’s cell phone, and drove off, says court documents.
It is alleged that after abandoning the stolen car, Vargas broke into an apartment where a mother and son were inside. Vargas held the mother at gunpoint and ransacked the bedrooms, stealing jewelry and electronics. After a struggle for the firearm, the mother hid in a bathroom, and her son woke up and joined her. Vargas fired a shot, and the bullet went through the bathroom door and into the son’s chest, according to the charges. Vargas then took the keys to the son’s Mercedes, stole the car, and fled.
The victims called 911, and the son was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was admitted to the intensive care unit.
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On August 19, 2021, Vargas was taken into custody by members of the South Florida Violent Crime and Fugitive Task Force (FBI Agents). At the time of his arrest, it is alleged, Vargas had a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of his pants. He was also wearing a watch that was identical to the one stolen from the apartment.
Vargas is currently being detained without bond. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to life in prison.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office made the announcement. The FBI Miami Field Office, City of Miami Police Department and City of North Miami Police Department investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Bailyn.
This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Anyone with information related to a possible violent crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Criminal complaints and indictments contain mere allegations and defendants are innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.