For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
, United States Attorney
Bart M. Davis
Contact: Barbara Layman
Three Gang Members Indicted in Federal Court
Seattle Field Division
BOISE – A federal grand jury indicted three members of the Norteno gang for federal firearms charges, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.
The indicted defendants are Peter Albert Rodriguez, 27, of Nampa; Fabian Gonzalez, 26, of Caldwell; and Roy Benitez, 25, of Caldwell. All were indicted on December 12 and 13, 2017. Rodriguez is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. Gonzalez is charged with unlawful dealing in firearms and possession of an unregistered firearm. Benitez is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm.
All three defendants were arrested yesterday.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The charge of possession of an unregistered firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The charge of unlawful dealing in firearms is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
“Deterrence is about fear of consequences,” said Davis. “We want criminals to fear the consequences of committing crimes. The rise in violent crime can be suppressed when law enforcement agencies, as was the case here, work together to disrupt and dismantle criminal gangs and those that foment violence.”
“Those members of the criminal element that illegally possess and use firearms are demonstrating their contempt for the personal safety and wellbeing of the public,” said Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants of the Seattle Field Division. “ATF is committed to partnering with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of the public.”
“For Mr. Gonzalez to willingly operate outside of the established parameters of lawful commerce in firearms puts the people of the Treasure Valley at risk,” continued Pleasants. “Combating that risk remains a top priority to ATF.”
The indictments are the result of an investigation and enforcement operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Marshals Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; the Idaho Department of Corrections Office of Probation and Parole; the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; the Nampa City Police Department; the Caldwell City Police Department; and the Boise City Police Department.
The charges are being prosecuted by the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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