DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Oregon

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Billy J. Williams
, United States Attorney
Contact: Fred Weinhouse

Salem Man Sentenced to 15 Years Under the Armed Career Criminal Act

PORTLAND, Ore. – Alberto Contreras, 34, of Salem, Oregon, was sentenced today under the Armed Career Criminal Act to the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison by U. S. District Court Judge Marco A. Hernandez. Contreras pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm with an Armed Career Criminal enhancement on March 23, 2015. Following his prison term, Contreras will serve five years of supervised release.

This case arose out of an investigation by the Salem Police Department after they developed information that Contreras was selling methamphetamine while carrying a firearm. Following a traffic stop of the vehicle he was driving on March 12, 2014, police developed probable cause to search the vehicle, and a loaded 9mm Ruger pistol, which had previously been stolen, was found hidden in the vehicle in addition to a digital scale. Subsequently, Contreras allowed the police to search his apartment and a small amount of methamphetamine and two digital scales were located.

Under federal law, any person who possesses a firearm after being previously convicted of three violent felonies or drug trafficking crimes qualifies as an armed career criminal and faces a mandatory 15-year minimum sentence. Contreras qualified for that sentence based upon the following prior convictions: (1) Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Marion County, 2001, sentence of 16 months imposed; (2) Assault II, Marion County, 2003, sentence of 60 months imposed; (3) Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Marion County, 2011, sentence of 19 months imposed.

This case was investigated by the Salem Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Fred Weinhouse.

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Field Division: Seattle Field Division