U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of California
Eastern District of California
For Immediate Release
September 11, 2012
Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney
Contact: Lauren Horwood
Project Safe Neighborhoods News
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Project Safe Neighborhoods (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.
Judge Burrell imposed the sentence after an evidentiary hearing in which the judge found that James lied to the court about his personal history in hopes of reducing the sentence. In light of the falsehoods and other statutory factors, Judge Burrell determined that James merited a longer sentence than what the Federal Sentencing Guidelines recommended. Judge Burrell also found that James obstructed justice by lying to the court.
These cases are the product of investigations by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Fresno and Visalia Police Departments.
Sacramento Man Indicted for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm A federal grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment Thursday, September 6, 2012 against Deral Armstrong, 35, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, On February 12, 2012, Armstrong was in possession of a .25-caliber Titan pistol. He has prior felony convictions for grand theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Previously Deported Man Indicted for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm A federal grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment Thursday, September 6, 2012 against Cirilo Almazen Trujillo, 26, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for being a deported alien found in the United States. According to court documents, on August 21, 2012, Trujillo was in possession of a Remington, Model 66 .22-caliber rifle. He has a prior felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
Visalia Man Pleads Guilty to Being a felon in Possession of a Firearm According to court documents, on Monday, September 10, 2012, Gomesindo Hernandez, aka Wacko, 21, pleaded guilty to possession of a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol. On April 25, 2012, officers conducted a probation search at Hernandezs residence and found the pistol between the mattress and box spring in the bedroom, which Hernandez confessed was his. Hernandez has a 2010 felony narcotics conviction from Tulare County Superior Court. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19, 2012 by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii.
Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting these cases.
Fresno Man Indicted for Illegally Possessing a Firearm and Postal Keys A federal grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment Thursday, September 6, 2012 against Jason Alan Brewer for being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of postal keys. According to court documents, Fresno Police Department officers found Brewer on September 13, 2012 unconscious in a vehicle in front of a convenience store. After conducting an inventory search of the vehicle, officers found a handgun and stolen postal keys. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting this case.
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.
The charges against the indicted defendants, Armstrong, Trujillo, Ortiz, and Brewer, are only allegations. They are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.