A Durango man who admitted to carjacking someone at gunpoint in a Fort Lewis College parking lot almost two years ago has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison.
Law enforcement accused Roger Brassard, 27, of using a firearm in November 2017 to intimidate Zachary Habrat and take his yellow 2003 Ford Ranger. Habrat was still in the vehicle as Brassard drove away, according to law enforcement.
“I am going to kill myself, I am the devil,” Brassard allegedly told Habrat, according to his plea agreement.
Brassard ordered Habrat, who was in the passenger seat, to open the window. He then fired a gunshot past Habrat out the open window, according to law enforcement.
From FLC, Brassard drove to North College Drive, turned right on Florida Road, left onto East Animas Road (County Road 250) and left on Trimble Lane (County Road 252). During the approximately 10-mile trip, Brassard made suicidal comments and drove at a high rate of speed, according to police.
At some point, law enforcement said Brassard turned onto the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad tracks, and the vehicle became stuck near the 27800 block of U.S. Highway 550, north of Durango in the Animas Valley.
Brassard ordered Habrat to help get the vehicle unstuck, and when that was unsuccessful, directed him to walk along the train tracks. Habrat told police he was able to get Brassard to walk in front of him, and “was ultimately able to escape and summon help from a passing driver.”
“The victim in this case was in grave danger, yet due to his courage he was able to escape and later identify his captor,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, in a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners, Brassard won’t be able to do this again for a very long time.”
The FBI worked with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office and the Durango Police Department to investigate the case. Brassard was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2018 and pleaded guilty this year in April.
Brassard must serve five years on supervised release after he completes his prison sentence, according to the release.