U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of California
Eastern District of California
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney
Contact: Lauren Horwood
Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Nets Four Grand Jury Indictments for Illegal Firearms Possession
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.
The Seun case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department. The Hernandez and MacDonald cases are the product of investigations by Homeland Security Investigations, the Fresno Police Department, and the Multi–Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium. The Ebaniz case is the product of an investigation by ATF, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, and the Turlock Police Department. All of the cases are being investigated and prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is an initiative under which local, state and federal law enforcement agencies join forces to combat gang and gun violence.
The prosecutions reenforce the message sent by state and federal law enforcement agencies recently that they continue to be committed to coordinating their efforts targeting gang and gun violence in the Fresno area.
The indictments allege the following:
- — On March 28, 2012, defendant MacDonald was in possession of a Sig Sauer P220 semi–automatic pistol and a Smith and Wesson SW40V semi–automatic pistol. Further, the indictment alleges that the defendant has a prior felony conviction for robbery. According to court documents, police served a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, found the guns, and the defendant admitted to having purchased the guns for protection.
- — On March 14, 2012, defendant Seun was in possession of a revolver and .22 caliber ammunition. Further, the indictment alleges that the defendant has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and infliction of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
- — On March 11, 2012, defendant Hernandez was in possession of a Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver. Further, the indictment alleges that the defendant is an illegal alien unlawfully present in the United States. According to court documents, Hernandez had fired the gun following a disagreement at a local bar and shortly before being arrested.
- — On February 28, 2012, defendant Ebaniz was in possession of a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol. Further, the indictment alleges that the defendant has prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property; using others’ identification to obtain credit; possession of ephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine; assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, great bodily injury likely; and burglary.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count is 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.