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.
San Francisco Field Division
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).
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, 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.
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.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Luis Magana, 20, of Stockton, pleaded guilty today to dealing firearms without a license and to distribution of methamphetamine in a case resulting from Operation Gideon IV, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
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.
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.
VACAVILLE, Calif. – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl announced the arrest of Dennis Killough and his wife, Sarah Barham Killough.
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, 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.
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.