ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

www.justice.gov/usao/cae

For Immediate Release

August 7, 2012

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood
(916)-554-2706

FOUR PLEAD GUILTY IN PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS NEWS: Taking Felons with Firearms off the Streets

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.

Ceres Man Pleaded Guilty to Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Miguel Loza, 22, of Ceres, pleaded guilty Monday, August 6, 2012 to being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court records, an officer spotted Loza with a loaded .45-caliber Glock pistol in a convenience store and arrested him. At the time of his arrest, Loza was on probation for felony evasion of arrest in a motor vehicle. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on October 22, 2012. Assistant United States Attorney Yasin Mohammad is prosecuting the case.

Caruthers Felon Pleaded Guilty to Federal Firearms Offenses

Ismael Michael Arreguin, 31, of Caruthers, pleaded guilty Monday, July 30, 2012 to being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, on July 13, 2011, HSI agents served a search warrant at Arreguin's residence and found a loaded Universal M1 .30-caliber carbine assault rifle, a loaded high capacity magazine, and 12 gauge shotgun in a hole in a bedroom floor. Arreguin has prior felony convictions for auto theft and evading a peace officer. His sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2012. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

Fresno Man Pleads Guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

Jonathan Vega, 24, of Fresno, pleaded guilty on Monday, August 6, 2012 to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine According to court documents, on February 7, 2012, Police were conducting surveillance of a meeting between a potential methamphetamine buyer and Vega, who had about three pounds of methamphetamine. When Vega saw the police officers, he tried to flee and struck several police vehicles and a parked car. Vega made several attempts to move his vehicle forward and backward, but was contained by police vehicles. When officers approached his vehicle, they saw two small children in the back seat. Vega admitted that he was paid to deliver the methamphetamine. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on October 29, 2012. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, a $20 million fine, and five years of supervised release. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

Modesto Man Pleads Guilty to Carrying a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Offense and Unlawful Use of a Cellphone

Hector Mariscal, 45, of Stanislaus County, pleaded guilty on Monday, August 6, 2012 to carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense and unlawful use of a cellphone. According to court documents, on September 6, 2011, Mariscal along with codefendants Cesar Galvan Cortes and Jose Esparza agreed to sell five pounds of methamphetamine to confidential informants. All three defendants were arrested and agents found a .45-caliber pistol in Mariscal's waistband. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on October 29, 2012. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $20 million fine, and five years of supervised release. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

These cases are the product of investigations by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. ICE's HSI, the Modesto Police Department, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office.

Unless otherwise noted, the maximum statutory penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, 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.

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