For Immediate Release
Two Stockton Gang Members Indicted for Firearms Trafficking
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today against two Stockton residents and alleged members of the Everybody Killa (EBK) street gang, charging them with conspiring to deal firearms without a license and other charges, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Johnnie Earl Ross Jr., 20, is charged with conspiring to deal firearms without a license, dealing firearms without a license, and possession of an unregistered machine gun. Vin Whealen Gaines Jr., 32, is charged with conspiring to deal firearms without a license, dealing firearms without a license, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and distribution of methamphetamine.
According to court documents, between Oct. 10, 2019, and Oct. 22, 2020, Ross and Gaines sold at least 13 firearms to an undercover agent or confidential source on behalf of the EBK street gang in Stockton. Many of the firearms were obtained out of state, in Reno, Nevada, and some were obtained by a straw purchaser from federally licensed firearms dealers in Reno. One of the firearms was a Glock handgun with a switch that converted it to a fully automatic firearm. Gaines has prior felony convictions, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Spencer is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi agency task force that leverages the authorities and expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement.
The charges carry the following penalties: a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for conspiracy to deal firearms without a license; a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for dealing firearms without a license; a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for possession of an unregistered machine gun; a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for being a felon in possession of a firearm; and a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for methamphetamine distribution. 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.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see www.justice.gov/projectguardian.