CHICAGO (CBS) — Ernesto Godinez, the man who shot an ATF agent in the face in an ambush attack in the Back of the Yards neighborhood last year has been sentenced to nearly 17 years in federal prison.
Godinez, 29, was convicted of assault of a federal officer earlier this year. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced him to 16 years and 8 months in prison on Wednesday.
Prosecutors had been seeking a sentence of 30 years for Godinez, while defense attorneys had argued for a sentence of less than 13 years.
In their sentencing recommendation, federal prosecutors called Godinez’s attack on ATF Agent Kevin Crump “brazen, callous, and cowardly,” and said it was a miracle the agent survived his wounds, noting one of Godinez’s bullets hit him in the back of the neck and exited between his eyes.
“The depravity of the defendant’s crime is remarkable. A sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment is the only fair answer here, both to punish this reprehensible crime and to protect the community he endangered time and time again,” prosecutors wrote.
Godinez, a purported gang member, had been charged with shooting Crump on May 4, 2018 near 43rd and Hermitage. Police said Godinez ambushed the agent, who was working undercover and trying to place a tracker on Godinez’s car during a joint mission by Chicago Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Authorities said Godinez came out shooting when he spotted the agent placing the tracker on his car, believing he was a rival gang member.
Federal prosecutors said surveillance cameras captured Godinez leaving his house at 43rd and Wood moments before the shooting, then walking down an alley toward 44th and Hermitage just before the shooting, and running back through the alley to his house moments after the attack.
Crump was released from the hospital five days after the shooting. Prosecutors said Crump suffered permanent damage to his vision, no longer has tear ducts in his left eye, and has nerve damage to the left side of his face.
“Save for a few millimeters, Ernesto Godinez would have killed a 28 year old federal agent on May 4, 2018,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
At trial, Godinez’s attorneys argued he was not the one who shot Crumb, and said there was no direct evidence linking him to the shooting.