EUGENE– A Springfield man will be serving 20 years for a 2009 drive-by shooting incident at the US courthouse in Eugene.
According to prosecutors, Eduardo Mendoza Jr, 29, an active member of the Surenos Street Gang, fired four shots from a moving vehicle and hit the nearby offices of US Rep. Peter DeFazio. The office was empty due to the late hour, and no one was injured.
During the trial, Mendoza admitted to firing the bullets out of anger toward his federal probation officer, who the day before had recommended that Mendoza be returned to prison. A career criminal and long-time gang member, Mendoza’s pleas for leniency fell mostly on deaf ears as U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan passed down the lengthy sentence. The prosecutor, Frank Papagni, shrugged off Mendoza’s claims to be ready to change “for his children,” telling Judge Hogan that an addiction to methamphetamines and a troubled childhood were not excuses for a lifetime of violence and criminal behavior.
Mendoza had previously failed to complete many drug treatment programs made available to him, Papagni said. He had also been convicted in state court of crimes including drunken driving, third-degree assault and delivering controlled substances to minors.