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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California
Phillip A. Talbert, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 6, 2023

Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking at a Bakersfield Motel

FRESNO, Calif. — Derrick Dewayne Gage, 41, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on April 23, 2022, law enforcement officers were on patrol at the Plaza Motel on Union Avenue in Bakersfield when they saw Gage inside a room with a firearm and what appeared to be drugs. The officers searched the room and seized a loaded Sarsilmaz 9 mm semi-automatic handgun as well as cocaine. Gage is prohibited from possessing firearms because he has prior felony convictions for domestic violence, participation in a criminal street gang, and sales of cocaine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin J. Gilio, Kimberly A. Sanchez, and Laurel J. Montoya are prosecuting the case.

Gage is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Gage faces five years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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