DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 15, 2018
McGregor W. Scott
, United States Attorney
Contact: Deb Duckett-Morris

Three Stockton Men Indicted for Trafficking in Firearms

Federal Law Enforcement Highlights Recent Efforts to Combat Illegal Firearms Trafficking

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Stockton residents Arturo Napoles, 29; Raymond Morin, 31; and Raul Diaz, 23, charging them with unlawful dealing in firearms, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. Napoles was also charged with 19 counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, five counts of possession of a machinegun, two counts of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of cocaine.

U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said, “The illegal manufacture and trafficking of firearms poses a serious threat to our communities. Because of this threat, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has prioritized the prosecution of these crimes, and through our partnership with the ATF and local law enforcement, we have managed to seize large amounts of contraband weapons and to bring those who inject them into the community to justice. We are committed to keeping our communities safe by continuing these partnerships and focusing on cases like the one indicted today.”

“At ATF we are committed to making all our communities a safe place,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder, San Francisco Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “Firearms trafficking is a dangerous activity. It results in guns ending up in the hands of criminals and gang members who engage in criminal activity regardless of whether that endangers lives. It only takes one round from one gun to end a life. Our efforts to combat gun related crime has spanned across the district. From 2016 to 2018, ATF agents seized 1,890 firearms within Stockton, Fresno and Sacramento areas. That is 1,890 that were involved in criminal activity and are now off the streets of our community.”

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones stated: “The results of this investigation made Stockton a safer community. I’m committed to these types of operations and investigations with our Federal law enforcement partners because getting gang members, violent criminals, weapons, and narcotics off our streets is an on-going process to make Stockton the best it can be.”

According to court documents, between April 27, 2017, and February 1, 2018, Napoles allegedly sold approximately 50 firearms, including machine guns, stolen firearms, firearms with obliterated serial numbers, and assault rifles manufactured from unfinished lower receivers with no serial numbers. At the time of his arrest, he possessed one handgun, eight machineguns, and five machine gun-conversion devices. Napoles is prohibited from possessing firearms and is not licensed to deal in firearms.

Between April 27, 2017, and November 29, 2017, Diaz allegedly manufactured and sold approximately 15 assault rifles. He manufactured the firearms in his garage from unfinished lower receivers. Diaz is not licensed to manufacture and deal in firearms.

Between June 1, 2017, and January 4, 2018, Morin allegedly sold eight firearms, including five assault rifles manufactured from unfinished lower receivers with no serial numbers. Morin is not licensed to deal in firearms.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron L. Desmond is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Napoles faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted, Morin and Diaz face a maximum statutory penalty of 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The following are summaries of some of the recent cases brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office involving the illegal sale of firearms:

On January 25, 2018, a grand jury indicted James Bowen with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 1:18-CR-0015-DAD

On December 12, 2017, Sharrod Gibbons was sentenced to over two years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:15-CR-00158-JAM

On September 20, 2017, Jason Prom was sentenced to twelve years in prison for conspiring to deal firearms without a license, dealing firearms without a license, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 2:16-CR-134-KJM

On September 8, 2017, Joseph Latu was sentenced to nine years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:15-CR-00209-GEB

On September 7, 2017, Christopher Gonzales, Jake Phillip Jines, and Samuel Elijahsidney Scott were indicted for dealing firearms without a license. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 2:17-CR-162-TLN.

On July 14, 2017, Charles Tucker was sentenced to five years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:15-CR-00209-GEB

On May 25, 2017, a grand jury indicted Robert Guthrie, Prado Andres Corona, Marcos Hernandez, Joseph Quirarte and Orasio Fierro for conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing firearms without a license and other charges. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 1:17-CR-00135-LJO

On March 28, 2017, Alphonso Harris was sentenced to ten months in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:16-CR-00011-JAM

On December 9, 2016, Emiliano Cortez-Garcia, was sentenced to six years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms, possession of a machinegun, and possession of an unregistered firearm. 2:13-CR-00353-GEB

On August 24, 2016, Felix Saldivar was sentenced to over four years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:16-CR-00109-KJM

On May 2, 2016, Gerardo Barraza was sentenced to almost two years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms. 2:14-CR-00040-WBS

On March 10, 2016, James Malcolm was sentenced to five years in prison for unlawful possession of a toxin, unlawful dealing in firearms, possession of a machinegun. 2:14-CR-00158-TLN

On February 17, 2016, Daniel aka “Dr. Death” Crowninshield was sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison for unlawful dealing in firearms and possession of an unregistered machinegun. 2:14-CR-00164-TLN

On February 17, 2016, Brandon Johnson was sentenced to ten years in prison for selling firearms without a license and distributing methamphetamine. 2:13-CR-036- KJM

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an 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.

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Field Division: San Francisco Field Division