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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood, Public Information Officer
(916) 554-2706

Fresno Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Offenses

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Wendell Ladell Moton, 21, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department. It is part of the Project SAFE Neighborhoods initiative, which brings together local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce firearm and gang related violence. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, on July 17, 2011, Fresno Police officers saw Moton, whom they knew was on probation, place a backpack in a vehicle and get in. Officers searched the backpack and found a .22–caliber rifle and four rounds of .22–caliber ammunition in the front pocket. Moton had a prior felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon not a firearm: great bodily injury likely.

Moton is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2012 by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. 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.