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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Northern District of California

For Immediate Release

May 26, 2011

Melinda Haag, United States Attorney

Contact: Jack Gillund
415) 436-6599

Salinas Man Sentenced to 57 Months for Dealing Firearms Without a License

Israel Espinoza Sold Military-Style Weapons and Silencer

SAN JOSE – A federal judge sentenced a Salinas man to 57 months in prison after he admitted to selling nine firearms and 700 rounds of ammunition without a license, United States Attorney MELINDA HAAG announced.

ISRAEL ESPINOZA, age 30, admitted that he conspired to engage in the business of dealing firearms without a federal firearms license. In a plea agreement, Espinoza admitted that between July 2 and December 8, 2010, he conspired to sell firearms and ammunition without a license in violation of title 18 United States Code section 371. The firearms included an AR-15 rifle machinegun with silencer, an M1 rifle with obliterated serial number, and a .762-caliber SKS rifle.

Espinoza was sentenced yesterday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen in San Jose. Espinoza also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon his release from federal prison.

Espinoza was arrested on December 15, 2010 by federal and Salinas law enforcement officers after he was charged in a federal indictment.

Nat Cousins is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal technician Kamille Singh. The prosecution is the result of an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), aided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service. Federal agents teamed with agents from the Salinas Police Department, Monterey County Gang Task Force, and Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

Further Information:

Case #: CR 10-00895 DLJ

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Web site at

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s Web site at

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Jack Gillund at (415) 436-6599 or by email at