DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
McGregor W. Scott
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lauren Horwood

Fresno Man Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison After Pulling Out a Gun While Fleeing From Police During a Drug Trafficking Crime

FRESNO, Calif. — Bert Harris, 38, of Fresno, was sentenced on Monday by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to 10 years and three months in prison for using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on Dec. 6, 2017, law enforcement officers saw Harris conducting what appeared to be hand-to-hand drug deals outside an apartment complex in Fresno. When the officers tried to arrest Harris, he fled on a bicycle. Officers chased Harris as he rode away, and eventually Harris turned into a parking lot outside an apartment complex and jumped off his bike. He started running away as an officer gave chase. While Harris was running, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a gun. The officer shot Harris though his hip and Harris dropped the gun on the ground. Harris ran a short distance farther and fell to the ground.

Officers searched Harris and found methamphetamine in his pocket and marijuana in the backpack he was carrying. Harris admitted that he had been selling the methamphetamine and that he had the gun for protection.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross Pearson and Melanie Alsworth prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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San Francisco Field Division