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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 13, 2011

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood

Fresno Felon and Admitted Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Christopher Madden, 28, of Fresno, entered a guilty plea today to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, on January 5, 2011 Madden was riding his bike and fled when police tried to approach him. During his flight, Madden dropped one firearm and the officers found another firearm on his person when they arrested him. Madden said he was carrying the guns because people were trying to kill him due to the fact that he was a west side crip.

According to the plea agreement, Madden was convicted in 2003 for possession of a controlled substance and in 2006 for possession of cocaine base for sale. Madden also admitted to being on parole at the time of his arrest.

By denying convicted felons access to firearms, we prevent imminent violent crime from occurring in our community, stated Special Agent in Charge Stephen C. Herkins. ATF will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to stop those who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

Madden is scheduled to be sentence by Senior United States District Judge Oliver W. Wanger on August 22, 2011. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years 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 the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department as part of Operation Ceasefire, a component of Project SAFE Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is a cooperative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gang and gun violence. Operation Ceasefire is an outreach program that offers gang members options through which they can remove themselves from the violent gang lifestyle. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sanchez is prosecuting the case.