Prosecutors: Reading man faces attempted murder charges after opening fire on federal agents

Prosecutors say a Reading man is facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly opened fire on federal agents who were attempting to serve an arrest warrant in early March. 

FBI Agents were searching the area of Gordon Street in Reading for 38-year-old Rafael Vega-Rodriguez who was wanted for a parole violation. Agents reportedly spotted Vega-Rodriguez walking with another person near West Greenwich Street shortly before noon on March 1.

Investigators say when agents approached Vega-Rodriguez he pulled out a handgun from under his sweatshirt and began firing. He allegedly continued shooting as he and the second individual fled the scene. No officers were reported injured during the shooting.

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After a two day long manhunt for Vega-Rodriguez, U.S. Attorney William McSwain says he was discovered 30 minutes south of Reading in Leola, Pa. on March 3. There, Vega-Rodriguez was arrested by FBI Special Agents and Pennsylvania State Troopers. 

“Shooting at FBI Agents is one of the absolute worst – and dumbest – things that an individual can do,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. "Such alleged behavior is guaranteed to bring the full force of the federal government crashing down on your head. This case has my full attention and we will not rest until justice is served.”

Vega-Rodriguez faces three counts of attempted murder of a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, and related charges. If convicted, prosecutors say Vega-Rodriguez faces a maximum possible sentence of 140 years imprisonment.


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