For Immediate Release
Stockton Man Indicted For Possessing Sawed-Off Shotgun
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Jorge Leal, 21, of Stockton, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and with possessing an unregistered firearm, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on December 2, 2013, Stockton Police officers stopped Leal for riding a bicycle at night with no light. A record search showed that Leal was a parolee at large and searched Leal’s backpack finding a sawed-off shotgun inside. Leal had previously been convicted of first degree burglary, and he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Further, Leal possessed a weapon made from a shotgun with a modified barrel length of less than 18 inches. Accordingly, Leal was required to register the firearm on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The firearm, however, was not registered to Leal.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Leal faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 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 a product of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders.