DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 25, 2018
McGregor W. Scott
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lauren Horwood

Fresno Man Indicted for Illegally Possessing and Dealing Firearms

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against James Bowen, 39, of Fresno, today charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license, and possession of an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

“The injection of firearms into our communities through illegal sales like the ones charged in today’s indictment pose a serious public safety threat, said U.S. Attorney Scott. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to collaborate with our state, local and federal partners to enforce gun laws that keep guns out the hands of criminals.”

"Public safety is at the forefront of ATF's mission,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder, ATF, San Francisco Field Division. “It is our duty to make this community a safer place for families. When law enforcement agencies create a unified front against violent crime, operations, like this one, will be successful.”

According to court documents, between February 23, 2017, and January 16, 2018, it is alleged that Bowen was engaged in the business of dealing firearms without a license. On January 16, 2018, a search warrant was issued for Bowen’s residence and 221 firearms were seized: 85 rifles, 35 shotguns, 94 pistols, five suspected silencers, one suspected machine gun, and one full auto sear. Bowen has a prior felony conviction and is prohibited from possessing firearms.

If convicted, Bowen faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing an unregistered firearm. The maximum statutory penalty for engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is part of the PSN (Project Safe Neighborhoods) strategy, a nationwide strategy for using existing resources to most effectively combat violent crime in partnership with state, local and tribal law enforcement and the communities we serve. This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) whose members come from the Fresno Police Department, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

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Field Division: San Francisco Field Division