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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 03, 2011

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood

Clovis Man Faces Charges for Illegal Firearms Possession

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Craig Mathias Katerinos, 20, of Clovis, pleaded guilty today to possessing a firearm that had not been registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Clovis Police Department. The investigation and prosecution are part of Project SAFE Neighborhoods, a cooperative effort of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies aimed at combating firearms and violent crimes. United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

ATF is dedicated to investigate those who possess firearms unlawfully and recklessly, stated Special Agent in Charge Stephen C. Herkins. We will continue to join forces with our law enforcement partners to prevent violent crime.

According to the plea agreement, on June 27, 2011, a Clovis police officer stopped a car for expired registration and a malfunctioning brake light. Katerinos was a passenger and had a no–bail arrest warrant. Officers found a .22 caliber pistol in Katerinos’s pocket and marijuana under his seat. Katerinos admitted that he had stolen the marijuana while carrying the pistol and claimed he was going to sell it to a medical marijuana dispensary.

At a search of Katerinos’s residence, officers found a sawed–off shotgun, ammunition, and a bag containing a wig, handcuffs, brass knuckles, and a Taser. Katerinos admitted that the sawed–off shotgun was his and that he had bought it in the parking lot of a gun show. He also admitted that the duffle bag and the items in it were his. He said that he had the items because he was going to rob someone, but had not selected a target yet. Federal law requires that shotguns with barrel lengths less than 18 inches be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by ATF. The sawed–off shotgun had a barrel length less than 18 inches and was not registered.

Katerinos is scheduled for sentencing on December 12, 2011 before United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. 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.