Two documented Norteño gang members who earlier pleaded guilty to the robbery of a Yakima Mexican restaurant in 2017, as well as other crimes, were sentenced to decades in state prison Thursday.
Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld sentenced Francisco Gabriel Madrigal, 21, to 26½ years in prison for his role in the Tacos El Rey robbery and for assaulting a girl and possessing drugs in an unrelated incident in 2018.
Bartheld sentenced J. Jesus Chavez-Sanchez, 25, to 19 years for his role in the Tacos El Rey robbery, as well as illegally possessing a firearm and dealing marijuana.
Madrigal and Chavez-Sanchez pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in February in the Tacos El Rey case, while Madrigal also pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, all with a firearm. Chavez-Sanchez also pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree assault with a firearm and one count of second-degree assault.
On Oct. 18, 2017, the pair entered the South Sixth Street restaurant after it had closed and, while holding the employees at gunpoint, stole their cellphones and wallets, as well as the money in the cash register. Two of the employees were pistol-whipped, according to court documents.
In letters to the court, the robbery victims wrote about the fear they had that night for their lives, and how they are still coping with the trauma.
Madrigal and Chavez-Sanchez were arrested shortly afterward, but later were released after posting bail.
On Nov. 13, 2017, Chavez-Sanchez was at a Toppenish gas station where he got into a fight with a Sureño gang member that ended with both men firing on each other.
Police found an AK-47-style rifle, 286 grams of marijuana and two digital scales in Chavez-Sanchez’s truck.
While awaiting trial, Madrigal and other gang members were accused of providing drugs and alcohol to two underage girls on Sept. 24, 2018, and one of the girls was assaulted by several of the men, according to court documents.