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San Francisco Field Division - 2012 Releases

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ATF is Asking the Public to Refrain from Senseless Celebratory Gun Fire

December 28, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) San Francisco Field Division, is ringing in the New Year by asking the public not to engage in celebratory gun fire but to look for responsible ways to celebrate safely. More »

ATF Arrests Suspect in Possession of Machine Guns

December 21, 2012

HENDERSON, Nev. — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Joseph Riehl, San Francisco Field Division announced that Brian Carl Zake was arrested Thursday in Henderson on a warrant for illegally possessing machine guns. More »

Southern California Defendant To Be Arraigned Today For Tobacco Tax Fraud

December 19, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On November 21, 2012, a federal grand jury returned a 19-count indictment charging a married couple with trafficking in contraband smokeless tobacco, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Nina Nguyen, 35, will be arraigned at 2:00 p.m. today in federal court in Sacramento. More »

Multi-County Marijuana Cases

December 17, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – Large-scale marijuana growers in Tulare County were sentenced and one grower in Stanislaus County pleaded guilty today in federal court, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

December 13, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — Daniel Barnett was sentenced today to nine years in prison for conspiracy to traffic in 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. More »

Forty-Three Defendants Convicted in Operation Garlic Press

December 12, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – As of today, 43 of the 46 defendants charged federally in Operation Garlic Press, a multi-agency, law enforcement initiative that was conducted in Gilroy, California in October 2011, have pled guilty in federal court, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Lilia Valderrama pled guilty this morning, before United States District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, to Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2013. More »

ATF and Mexican Authorities Work Together to Arrest an ATF Fugitive in Mexico

December 5, 2012

TIJUANA, Mexico — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Joseph Riehl, San Francisco Field Division announced that David Torrado was arrested Monday in Tijuana on a warrant for illegally possessing firearms and body armor. More »

Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Convenience Store Robberies

December 3, 2012

RENO, Nev. — A man who robbed five convenience stores in the Reno area over an eight–day period during late 2011 and early 2012, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. More »

Tulare County Marijuana Cultivator Convicted

November 30, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — The third of nine defendants charged over the summer in connection with a large marijuana cultivation operation in Alpaugh, pleaded guilty plea today to participating in a drug conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

Felon Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Robbing Brothers at Gunpoint in Their Home and Carjacking Them

November 26, 2012

RENO, Nev. — A man with multiple prior felony convictions who robbed two brothers in their Reno home, and then forced them to drive to a remote location and lie face first on the ground before driving away with their vehicle, was sentenced today to a mandatory minimum of 25 years in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. More »

Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms Possession

November 21, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — Onofre Espinoza–Torres, 69, of Grants Pass, Ore., pleaded guilty today to the charge of being an illegal alien in possession of firearms, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

San Leandro Man Sentenced to Eight Years for Distributing Methamphetamine

November 20, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — Sergio Vargas Garibay was sentenced yesterday, to 96 months in prison for possessing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). More »

North Las Vegas Convenience Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Purchasing Contraband Cigarettes

November 20, 2012

LAS VEGAS — The owner of a North Las Vegas convenience store pleaded guilty this morning to purchasing thousands of cigarettes that he had cause to believe were stolen and untaxed from an undercover local police officer for the purpose of re-selling them at his store, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. More »

Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Carrying Loaded Gun Into Reno Casino

November 19, 2012

RENO, Nev. — A man with eight prior felony convictions was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison for carrying a loaded gun into a Reno casino, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. More »

Patterson Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking and Illegal Firearm

Bulldog Gang Members Arrested in Citywide Action

November 5, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — Four alleged members of the Bulldog criminal street gang are in custody today facing federal firearms charges, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl announced. More »

Patterson Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking and Illegal Firearm

November 5, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced Natanael Faustino–Juarez, 30, of Patterson, to 12 years in prison for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute it and being in possession of an illegal short–barrel shotgun, announced United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. More »

Central Valley Man Pleads Guilty To Trafficking Firearms

October 22, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Dennis Estes, 37, of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to deal in firearms without a license and one count of trafficking firearms, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

Project Safe Neighborhoods News

October 15, 2012

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. More »

Three Fresno Men Indicted On Charges Related To The Theft Of Firearms From Sporting Goods Stores

October 11, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against three Fresno residents charging them in a firearm theft conspiracy, announced Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney, and Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division. More »

Four Suspects Arrested in American Canyon for Attempt to Commit an Armed Robbery of a Residence

October 5, 2012

AMERICAN CANYON, Calif. – Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division, Chief Joseph Kriens, and Chief Jean Donaldson American Canyon Police Department, announced today the arrests of Lafonso Luke Brown, Rakeem Marcelles Brown, Marcelis Fitzgerald Lee, and Rashad Rakeem Brown. More »

Simi Valley Tobacco Distributor Sentenced for a Scheme to Avoid Paying $528,000 in Excise Tax

October 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Mehdi Humkar, 58, of Simi Valley, was sentenced on September 24, 2012 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for his role in a scheme to avoid paying $528,000 in state tobacco excise taxes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced. More »

Tulare County Agricultural Marijuana Cultivators Plead Guilty

October 1, 2012

Fresno, Calif. – Two of nine defendants charged in connection with a large marijuana cultivation operation in Alpaugh, Calif., pleaded guilty today to participating in a drug conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

Operation Mercury Targets Large-Scale Agricultural Grows in Six Central Valley Counties

September 26, 2012

First of its kind, Operation Mercury targeted marijuana growing on agricultural land in the Central Valley, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced today. More »

Project Safe Neighborhoods News

September 24, 2012

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime.More »

Project Safe Neighborhoods News

September 17, 2012

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime.More »

Project Safe Neighborhoods News

September 11, 2012

The Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime.More »

Ripon Arrest Leads to Long Sentence for Out-of-State Felon

August 31, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Thursday, August 30, 2012, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced Scott James, aka James Scott MacCulloch, 59, of Westminster, Colo., to six years and eight months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Project Safe Neighborhood News

August 30, 2012

The PSN initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime.More »

Henderson Man Who Fired a Machine Gun in his Back Yard on New Year's Eve Sentenced to Prison

August 29, 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Henderson man who fired a machinegun in the backyard of his Anthem neighborhood home on New Year's Eve 2011, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.More »

Former Sacramento Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Guilty in Firearm Straw-Buyer Scheme

August 28, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Thomas Lu, 42, of Elk Grove, pleaded guilty today to a firearm straw-buyer scheme involving firearms that are not available for sale to the public in California, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Four Plead Guilty in Project Safe Neighborhoods News: Taking Felons with Firearms off the Streets

August 7, 2012

The PSN initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime.More »

ATF San Francisco Field Division Welcomes New Leader Joseph M. Riehl

August 2, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the arrival of Joseph M. Riehl, as the new special agent in charge (SAC) of the San Francisco Field Division.More »

Project Safe Neighborhood News: Illegal Possession of Firearms Means Prison Time

July 31, 2012

The PSN initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announces the following actions in federal PSN cases.More »

Project Safe Neighborhood News: Taking Felons with Firearms off the Streets

July 26, 2012

The PSN initiative brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announces the following actions in federal PSN cases.More »

Las Vegas Business Owner Charged with Purchasing Contraband Cigarettes

July 25, 2012

Las Vegas – The owner of a local convenience store was arrested this morning by federal and local authorities on charges that he purchased 12,000 contraband cigarettes from an undercover local police officer, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.More »

Alleged Members of Oakland Acorn Gang Indicted for Murder and Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering

July 20, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif – A federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Dionte Houff (a/k/a Birdman), 30, of Oakland, and Houston Nathaniel III (a/k/a Lil No), 23, of Oakland, yesterday with participation in a racketeering conspiracy; racketeering murder, attempted murder, maiming and assault with a dangerous weapon; use and possession of a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence; and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag; Acting Director B. Todd Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); U.S. Marshal Donald M. O'Keefe; and Chief Howard Jordan of the Oakland Police Department, during a press conference held today in Oakland.More »

Two More Los Angeles Tobacco Distributors are Sentenced to Prison for Excise Tax Fraud

July 17, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Atif Henan, 59, of Los Angeles, and Samy Girgis, 60, of Norwalk, were sentenced today by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to 27 months and 21 months in prison respectively for their roles in a scheme to defraud the State of California of more than $1 million in state tobacco excise taxes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced.More »

Navy Seal Bickle Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison

July 17, 2012

Las Vegas — The U.S. Navy SEAL who was convicted last fall of multiple felony weapons charges, including dealing in stolen firearms, was sentenced today to 17½ years in federal prison and three years of supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.More »

Three Fresno Men Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Firearms Possession and 3 More Plead Guilty

July 9, 2012

Fresno Calif. — In separate cases today, United States District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill sentenced Raymond Graham, 26, to nine years and six months in prison; Hector Gonzalez, 19, to 10 months in prison; and Charles Garrett, 24, to two years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm, and three others pleaded guilty to illegal firearms possession, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Multiple Defendants Sentenced for Growing Marijuana in Sequoia National Forest

July 2, 2012

Fresno Calif. — Three defendants were sentenced and one pleaded guilty today for growing marijuana in Sequoia National Forest, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Four Indictements for Firearms and Drug Offenses

June 28, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – A federal grand jury returned four indictments today against a Madera man and three Fresno men for firearms and/or drug offenses, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Construction Site Fire Ruled Arson

June 28, 2012

Oakland, Calif. — Fire investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), National Response Team along with the Oakland Fire Department, the Alameda County arson task force and the Oakland Police Department (OPD) announced today that the June 14 fire at the Red Star Senior Apartment construction site was an act of arson. The incendiary blaze caused at least $25 million dollars of damage. While there is sufficient physical evidence to support this determination, the specific details of the evidence will not be released while the investigation continues.More »

Bakersfield Man Sentenced to Six Months for Receipt of Grenades

June 25, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — John Mendoza, 24, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to six months in prison for unlawful receipt of explosive material, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Judge O’Neill ordered Mendoza to forfeit several firearms and a large amount of ammunition as part of the sentence.More »

Multiple Defendants Sentenced for Growing Marijuana in Sequoia National Forest

June 25, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — Three defendants were sentenced and one pleaded guilty today for growing marijuana in Sequoia National Forest, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

ATF National Response Team Activated to Investigate Fire of Red Star Senior Apartments

June 20, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — The National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been activated by request from the City of Oakland to investigate a fire at the Red Star Senior Apartments. On June 14, at approximately 1:30 a.m., a fire destroyed the Red Star Senior Apartments, a 119 unit apartment complex under construction located at Seventh Street and Mandela Parkway. Preliminary estimate of property damage is $25 million. Participating agencies include the Oakland Fire and Police Departments.More »

Clovis Woman Sentenced for Meth Trafficking

June 18, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Cheryl Stroud, 31, of Clovis, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to 3 years, 6 months in prison for a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.More »

Wanted Gideon Defendant Arrested After Chase

June 14, 2012

RICHMOND, Calif. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey E. Vind announced Daniel Barnett was arrested Tuesday in Richmond, Calif. on a federal warrant for previously selling illegal drugs to an undercover agent.More »

Alleged Firearms Trafficker Extradited to Mexico

June 14, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Gregorio Salgado Lopez, 34, of Madera, was extradited to Mexico on June 12, 2012, where he is wanted to stand trial for the alleged illegal possession of firearms without a license while in Mexico and the clandestine introduction of firearms into Mexico.More »

Fresno Villa Posse Criminal Street Gang Leader Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

June 11, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that United States District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Curtis Hendrix, 38, of Fresno, today to 30 years in prison, to be followed by eight years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and distribution of cocaine base.More »

Two Fresno Men Plead Guilty to Firearm Offenses as a Result of Project Safe Neighborhoods Investigations

June 4, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – Garry Sampson, 34, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to possession of a firearm after being convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, and Rodney Heather, 26, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.More »

Two Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies and Two Others Indicted in Firearms-Buyer Scheme

June 1, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The results of a long term pro-active enforcement operation, designed to address violent crime in the Oakland, SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A federal indictment was unsealed today that charges four individuals in a firearm straw-buyer scheme involving firearms that are not available for sale to the public in California, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The indictment was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury.More »

Joint Operation Results in Federal Charges Against More Than 60 Individuals

May 29, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The results of a long term pro-active enforcement operation, designed to address violent crime in the Oakland, Calif., area, were announced today by United States Attorney Melinda Haag; Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot C. Thomasson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Project Gideon III; and Chief Howard Jordan of the Oakland Police Department, during a press conference in Oakland.More »

Two Visalia Felons Charged for Illegal Firearms Possession

May 24, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – A federal grand jury charged Homero Borja, aka Stranger, 22, and Gomesindo Hernandez, aka Wacko, 21, both of Visalia, in separate indictments with being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. More »

Sacramento Man Sentenced for Arson

May 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Stephen C. Herkins and Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, announced yesterday that Robert Durst was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for an arson that caused great bodily injury to four Sacramento firefighters.More »

Two Stockton Men Indicted for Firearms and Drug Violations

May 18, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Thursday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Manolo Reyes, 30, and Mario Abel Raya, 31, both of Stockton, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special-Agent-in-Charge Stephen C. Herkins announced. More »

Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering President of San Francisco Hells Angels

May 15, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Christopher Bryan Ablett, a/k/a Stoney, a member of the Modesto Chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, was sentenced today to serve two concurrent life sentences and one life sentence to run consecutive, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The sentence was imposed for the defendant’s gang-related murder of Mark Papa Guardado, the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels, on Sept. 2, 2008, at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in the Mission District of San Francisco. More »

Alleged Gang Members Charged with Federal Conspiracy and Gun Charges for Burglary of Henderson Gun Store Last Summer

May 10, 2012

LAS VEGAS – Four alleged members of the Donna Street Crips, a criminal street gang in Las Vegas, have been charged with the theft, sale and illegal possession of firearms in connection with their burglary of a Henderson gun store on August 13, 2011, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. More »

Fresno Felon Sentenced for Firearm Possession

May 7, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Jalaam Paggett, 29, of Fresno, today to four years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Burbank Tobacco Distributor Pleads Guilty in a Scheme to Avoid Over $500,000 in Excise Tax

May 2, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Stephen C. Herkins announced ATF Accelerant Detection Canine (K–9) Rosie is retiring after nearly a decade of service.More »

Burbank Tobacco Distributor Pleads Guilty in a Scheme to Avoid Over $500,000 in Excise Tax

May 1, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced another plea agreement in the continuing investigation of excise tax fraud in the State of California. Jack Haroun, 63, of Burbank, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to one count of mail fraud for his role in a scheme to defraud the State of California of over $500,000 in state tobacco excise taxes. Haroun also pleaded guilty on behalf of his corporation, Wholesale Palace, which will be subject to a corporate fine at time of sentencing between $500,000 and $1 million.More »

Fresno Bulldog Gang Member Sentenced for Illegal Firearms Possession

April 30, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Marcelino Higareda, aka Leno, 21, of Fresno, to two years in prison for possessing a firearm that had not been registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.More »

Illegal Alien Pleaded Guilty to a Federal Firearms Offense

April 30, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Hector Gonzalez, 19, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.More »

Arsonist Found Guilty

April 27, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson, Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel and Sacramento Fire Chief Ray Jones announced Robert Durst was found guilty of an arson that caused great bodily injury to four Sacramento firefighters.More »

Modesto Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms Possession

April 23, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Larry Escobedo, 48, of Modesto, entered a guilty plea to marijuana cultivation and being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Fresno Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Machine Gun in an Investigation of 26 Stolen Military Machine Guns

April 23, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Noe Ramos, 21, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to possessing a machine gun.More »

Fresno Felon Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Federal Firearms Offenses

April 16, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that today, United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Wendell Ladell Moton, 21, of Fresno, to 30 months in prison and 36 months supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Felon Arrested for Possessing Guns and Selling Drugs During ATF Undercover Operation

April 16, 2012

>STOCKTON, Calif. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson announced Manolo Reyes was arrested Thursday afternoon in Stockton after selling guns and controlled substances during an ATF undercover operation.More »

Fresno Felon Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Firearm

April 16, 2012

>FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Charles Garrett, 24, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Grenades

April 9, 2012

>FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that John Mendoza, 24, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to unlawful receipt of explosive material, and he agreed to forfeit several firearms and a large amount of ammunition.More »

Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Nets Four Grand Jury Indictments for Illegal Firearms Possession

April 5, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned indictments today charging Dara Seun, 30, of Fresno, California; Cory MacDonald, 28, of Fresno, California; and Anthony Ebaniz, 31, of Turlock, California with being felons in possession of a firearm; and Carlos Hernandez, 45, of Fresno, California with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.More »

Fairfield Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Bombing

April 3, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Daniel Richard Garcia, 30, of Fairfield was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton to 35 years in federal prison. The defendant was found guilty by a federal jury on January 17, 2012, of Malicious Use of Explosives, Possession of a Destructive Device in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and two counts of Possession of Unregistered Destructive Devices.More »

26 Stolen Military Machineguns Lead to Indictments and Convictions in Fresno Federal Court

April 2, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Mark Nino de Rivera, 22, of Fresno, California to 30 months imprisonment for making false statements to federal agents. That sentence is the latest in a series of indictments, convictions, and sentencings resulting from an intensive investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.More »

Los Angeles Tobacco Distributor is Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison and Another Pleads Guilty in the Continuing Investigation of Excise Tax Fraud

March 28, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that Jawid Wahidi, 34, of Los Angeles, was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to 15 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the State of California of more than $800,000 in state tobacco excise taxes. Judge Mendez ordered Wahidi to pay $880,000 in restitution to the State of California, to make up for the excise tax that was not paid as a result of the scheme.More »

Fresno Felon Faces Charges for Illegal Firearms Possession

March 23, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Fernando Figueroa, 35, of Fresno, with carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. More »

Two Oakland Men Indicted on Federal Charges Including Carjacking and Robbery

March 19, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal grand jury in Oakland last week added carjacking and robbery to its original charges against Patrick Fiametta–McConnell, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The Superseding Indictment also charges a second defendant, Ismael Eduardo Axtle, with three counts of carjacking, using a firearm to commit a carjacking, two counts of robbery, and two counts being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.More »

Fresno Felon Pleads Guilty to Firearm Possession

March 12, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Jalaam Paggett, 29, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Four Arrested for Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking

March 9, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot L. Thomasson, and Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams announced that four defendants were arrested on March 7, 2012 for their participation in drug trafficking and laundering money.More »

Villa Posse Gang Leader Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

March 9, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Curtis Hendrix, 37, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.More »

First Two Operation Garlic Press Defendants Sentenced

March 8, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Yesterday, two Operation Garlic Press defendants were each sentenced to twenty years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.More »

Gun Traffickers Arrested in Stockton After Selling Guns to ATF Undercover Agents

February 28, 2012

STOCKTON, Calif. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson announced Dennis William Estes and Kevin John Webber were arrested Friday morning in Stockton, CA after conspiring to manufacture and sell firearms without a license to ATF undercover agents Friday, Feb. 24.More »

Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Convicted of Murdering President of San Francisco Hell’s Angels

February 23, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Late yesterday afternoon, a federal jury found Christopher Bryan Ablett, a/k/a Stoney, a member of the Modesto Chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, guilty of all four felonies with which he was charged including murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, using a firearm during a crime of violence, and using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The charges stemmed from the defendant’s gang-related murder of Mark Papa Guardado, the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels, on Sept. 2, 2008, at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in the Mission District of San Francisco.More »

Los Angeles Tobacco Distributors Plead Guilty in a Scheme to Avoid Almost $2.5 Million in Excise Tax

February 14, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, announced that Adib Sirope, 59, and Rimoun Mansour, 51, both of Burbank, each pleaded guilty today in U.S. District CoMore »

Vallejo Man Sentenced to More than 11 Years for Distributing Methamphetamine

February 9, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — James Manuel Estrella was sentenced Tuesday to 135 months in prison for possessing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and ordered to forfeit $16,970, announced Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot Thomasson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).More »

Wine Warehouse Arsonist Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison

February 7, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot L. Thomasson, and IRS Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams announced that Mark C. Anderson, 63, of Sausalito, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $70.3 million in restitution.More »

Fresno Bulldog Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms Possession

February 6, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Marcelino Higareda, aka Leno, 21, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to possessing a firearm that had not been registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.More »

Hanford Man and Nuestra Familia Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Distribution Charge

February 6, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Leonard Luera, 24, of Hanford, pleaded guilty today to unlawful use of a telephone in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.More »

Fresno Man Charged with Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

January 19, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment on January 12, 2012 charging Jalaam Paggett, 29, of Fresno, with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment was unsealed today after his arrest.More »

Fresno Felon Sentenced for Illegal Firearms Possession for a Fourth Time in Less Than a Decade

January 17, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that today United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Vue Her, 27, of Fresno, to six years and nine months in prison for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and for a supervised release violation on a prior felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm conviction.More »

Jury Finds Fairfield Man Guilty of Car Bombing Former Tenant

January 17, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Daniel Richard Garcia, 30, of Fairfield was convicted today of malicious use of explosives, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices. The guilty verdict was returned by a federal court jury in Sacramento after a four-day trial before United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.More »

Jury Finds Fairfield Man Guilty of Car Bombing Former Tenant

January 17, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Daniel Richard Garcia, 30, of Fairfield was convicted today of malicious use of explosives, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices. The guilty verdict was returned by a federal court jury in Sacramento after a four-day trial before United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.More »

Fresno Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Offenses

January 17, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Wendell Ladell Moton, 21, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.More »

Turlock Man and Fresno Man Indicted on Firearms Charges

January 12, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned two separate indictments today charging two men for firearms offenses.More »

Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Offenses

January 10, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Gabriel Gonzalez, 22, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty on Monday to stealing nine firearms while they were being shipped interstate by United Parcel Service Inc.More »

Madera Man Sentenced in Connection with Arson at Planned Parenthood and Vandalism of Mosque

January 5, 2012

FRESNO, Calif. — Donny Eugene Mower, 38, of Madera, was sentenced in federal court today following his October 2011 guilty pleas to one count of arson, one count of damaging religious property and one count of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to damage the property of a reproductive health services facility. These charges stem from Mower’s lighting a fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic and throwing a brick at a mosque in Madera.More »

Stockton Felon Sentenced for Ammunition Violation

January 5, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that today United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Alan Michael Hernandez, 28, of Stockton, to five years and 10 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of ammunition.More »