Pasco teen gets 15 months for drive-by shooting

A 17-year-old Pasco teen who fired at a rival gang member during a drive-by shooting was sentenced Tuesday to more than a year in prison.

Ismael Bazan Jr., who was prosecuted as an adult for the May 11 incident, entered a modified plea of guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to a felony charge of drive-by shooting.

The plea, called an Alford plea, means Bazan denied committing the crime but believed prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. Judge Robert Swisher then sentenced Bazan to one year and three months in prison.

Bazan could have received up to one year and eight months in prison.

According to court documents, Bazan and about seven or eight other gang members or associates drove to an apartment complex at 2524 W. Sylvester St. and confronted Jose Cardona, a documented member of a rival gang.

The group yelled and flashed gang signs at Cardona, and when he took off in a car, shots were fired at him, documents said.

Bazan was identified as the person in the back of a pickup, and witnesses said they saw him hiding a gun in his waistband immediately after the shooting, documents said.

Bazan's co-defendent, Jesus Palacio Fuentes, was sentenced in September to one year and eight months in prison for being the driver of the pickup truck used in the shooting.

Fuentes, 18, was convicted of drive-by shooting by a jury.

Bazan's defense attorney, Peyman Younesi, said he bonded with his client over what life is like for a child growing up in Pasco, and he believes Bazan is ready to give up the gang life.

"He would like to get involved in the community," Younesi said. Bazan has said once he's released from prison he wants to make himself available to high schools to share with other teens what gang life is like.

"Hopefully we can have an individual that can put this behind him," Younesi said.

Bazan, who has been held at the juvenile detention center, will be held in a special facility for teens until he turns 18 in March and then will be transferred to an adult prison.

Man, 36, pleads guilty to witness tampering

A 36-year-old who was facing two sex offenses for inappropriately touching a prepubescent boy got credit for time served Tuesday after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of witness tampering.

Jose de Jesus Reveles Plata was accused in June of grabbing the boy over his clothes and ordering him to whistle, court documents said. The contact was said to have occurred three times during a two-month period.

Reveles Plata told the boy "it was a game they played in Mexico," documents said.

He had been charged with indecent liberties and first-degree child molestation in Franklin County Superior Court, but prosecutors amended the charge to witness tampering Tuesday as part of a plea deal.

Reveles Plata entered an Alford plea of guilty, which means he denied committing the crime but believed prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.

According to court documents, Reveles Plata contacted the boy's mother between June 18 and Oct. 29 from the Franklin County jail and attempted to get her to withhold information about the child abuse.

During an interview with prosecutors on Oct. 29, the boy denied the offenses occurred, but his mother admitted having contact with Reveles Plata while he was in jail, documents said.

Reveles Plata was sentenced to three months in jail, which was the top of his sentencing range, but he has been locked up since his June 18 arrest.

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com