DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of North Dakota

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 23, 2015
Timothy Q. Purdon
, United States Attorney
Contact: John Trautman

Williston Man Sentenced for Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Feb. 23, 2015, Gabriel Lazaro Garcia-Hernandez, a/k/a Gabriel L. Garcia, 54, Williston, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of possession of firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Garcia was convicted on October 29, 2014, by a federal jury.

Judge Hovland sentenced Garcia to serve 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Garcia was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

On January 7, 2014, officers with the Northwest Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at Garcia-Hernandez’s residence in Williston, N.D. They found a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, five firearms and over 300 rounds of various brands and calibers of ammunition. One of the firearms, a .22 caliber rifle, had the serial number scratched off to the point it was illegible. The other four firearms were handguns.

Garcia-Hernandez was prohibited from possessing either a firearm or ammunition by virtue of multiple felony convictions, including 1991 New Jersey convictions for aggravated assault and armed robbery, a 1995 Florida conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and 2003 Florida convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Northwest Narcotics Task Force, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, the Williston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.

St. Paul Field Division