San Francisco Field Division

Business Owner Sentenced For Mail Fraud Conviction Related To 2006 Mountain View Fire

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SAN JOSE – Fauzia Lodhi, formerly of Mountain View but now residing in Mission Viejo, Calif., was sentenced on April 2, 2014, to 16 months in custody for her conviction on mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl.

Eight Arrested This Week in Long-Term Investigation into Drug and Gun Trafficking

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Eight defendants were arrested this week in a wide-ranging drug and gun trafficking investigation, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. A federal grand jury returned the indictments on March 13, 2014, charging the defendants with various drug and gun trafficking offenses. The indictments were unsealed following the arrests of each defendant.

California National Guardsmen Sentenced to Prison for Stolen Machine Guns

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Stephen Gooden, 40, of Stockton, was sentenced on Thursday by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for possessing a machine gun, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. According to court documents, Gooden and Luis Castro, 28, of Sacramento, were members of the California National Guard and stole two M-4 machine guns from the National Guard’s armory in Lodi. Gooden then sold the machine guns to non-authorized persons in Stockton. ATF agents recovered the machine guns in an undercover operation.

Kern County Man Indicted on Drug and Gun Charges After a Lengthy, Multi-Agency Investigation

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FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today charging Jose Trinidad Salas, 43, of McFarland, with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being a person in the United States unlawfully in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Dunlap Tenants Charged With Drug and Firearm Crimes

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FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today against two brothers, Rudy Alberto Gonzalez-Rocha, 28, and Eloy Damian Gonzalez-Rocha, 32, both of Jalisco, Mexico, charging them with three marijuana cultivation crimes, being aliens in possession of firearms, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Eloy Gonzalez-Rocha was also charged with being a deported alien found in the United States.

Sacramento Men Indicted for Illegally Manufacturing and Selling Assault Rifles in Sacramento Area and Fresno

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury indicted brothers Luis Cortez-Garcia, 44, and Emiliano Cortez-Garcia, 37, of Sacramento, today charging them with unlawful manufacturing and sales of firearms, conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture and sell firearms, and several counts each related to the unlawful possession, manufacturing, and sale of short-barreled rifles, machine guns, and silencers, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M.

U.S. Attorney, ATF, And Fresno Police Department Announce Results Of Collaboration In Federal Firearms Prosecutions for 2013 In The Fresno Area

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FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today last year’s results in a continuing effort by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to prosecute gun violence in the Fresno area. The federal firearms prosecutions are a product of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a United States Department of Justice initiative that is an effort to join law enforcement agencies together in fighting gun violence. Under the Smart on Crime Initiative announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in August of last year, combating gun crime is a high priority of the U.S.

Madera Man Pleads Guilty To Unlawful Firearms Shipment to Mexico

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FRESNO, Calif. — Ernesto Salgado-Guzman, 47, of Madera, pleaded guilty to a violation of the Arms Export and Control Act by shipping firearms to Mexico, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Salgado-Guzman was part of a scheme to purchase in Madera more than 400 guns (mostly Ruger Model 10/22 and .22-caliber rifles) and sell them to various individuals in Oaxaca, Mexico. During the investigation, 85 of the firearms were seized (54 in Mexico and 31 in Madera).

Jury Trial Cancelled as the Last of 39 Defendants Plead Guilty in Investigations of the Nuestra Familia Drug Trafficking Organization

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FRESNO, Calif. — The last five pending defendants in a series of huge cases targeting the Nuestra Familia organization pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Calixtro Israel Sanchez, aka Cali Killa, aka Cali, 26, of Hanford, pleaded guilty today to a drug trafficking offense. Jose Velez, aka Cisco, 31, of Delano; Felipe Ramirez, aka Casper, 33, of Visalia; Christopher Medrano, aka Bob, 32, of Hanford; and Florentino Acosta, of Mexico, all pleaded guilty earlier this week to drug trafficking offenses.

Fresno Man Admits Possessing Machine Gun Stolen From Fort Irwin

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FRESNO, Calif. — Mark Anthony Carballo, 37, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm after a fully automatic AK-74 machine gun, which had been stolen from Fort Irwin, and a short-barreled shotgun were found in his vehicle, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

On July 15, 2011, 26 fully automatic AK-74 machine guns were stolen from the Fort Irwin military base; the investigation into the theft has recovered 14 machine guns so far.

Canadian Fugitive Sentenced in Oregon in an ECO-Terrorism Case Involving Bureau of Land Management in Lassen County

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Yesterday, eco–terrorist and longtime fugitive Rebecca Jeanette Rubin was sentenced to five years in prison for three indictments in three federal districts. On November 29, 2012, Rubin, a Canadian citizen, surrendered herself to the FBI at the international border in Blaine, Wash., to face her federal charges in Oregon, Colorado, and the Eastern District of California. United States District Judge Ann Aiken in Portland, Ore. sentenced Rubin in the District of Oregon and ordered her to pay $13.9 million in restitution.

Fresno Man Sentenced for Possession of a Pipe Bomb

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Fresno, Calif. — United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Jon Smilanick, 36, of Fresno, today to 30 months in prison for possession of a pipe bomb in violation of the National Firearms Act, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on January 9, 2013, police were called to Smilanick’s ex-neighbors’ home with the report of a bomb detonating. They found the remnants of a detonated pipe bomb. The ex-neighbors reported that they believed that Smilanick had detonated the device as they had had ongoing problems with him.

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
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Southern California Tobacco Distributors Sentenced to Prison and $1.6 Million Restitution for Tax Evasion Scheme

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thao “Nina” Nguyen, 36, and Luan Tran, 37, a married couple, both of San Bernardino, were sentenced today for their role in a scheme to defraud the state of California of approximately $1.6 million in state tobacco excise taxes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl announced.

Las Vegas Tobacco Distributors Sentenced to Two Years in Prison and Over $1 Million Restitution for Tax Evasion Scheme

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ideal Tobacco Wholesale Inc. president Raed Mouri, 47, and executive vice-president George Bittar, 53, both of Las Vegas, were each sentenced today to 24 months in prison by United States District Judge John A. Mendez for their role in a scheme to defraud the state of California of more than $24 million in state tobacco excise taxes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl announced.

Sacramento Man Sentenced for Firearms Trafficking Offenses

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dejon Andrade, 27, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. to 15 months in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms and a concurrent sentence of 15 months in prison for illegal transportation of firearms acquired outside of state of residency, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Joseph M. Riehl, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division.

Modesto Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine and Firearms Trafficking

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jose Jesus Reyes-Gallaga Vargas, 25, of Modesto, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to 10 years in prison for possessing, with intent to distribute, methamphetamine and dealing firearms without a license, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

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