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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2012

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood

Fresno Felon Faces Charges for Illegal Firearms Possession

FRESNO, Calif. – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Fernando Figueroa, 35, of Fresno, with carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

According to the indictment, Figueroa carried a .357 revolver during a drug trafficking offense, and was in possession of ammunition and two different .357 revolvers. The indictment also alleges that Figueroa has prior felony convictions of assault on a person with a firearm, vehicle theft, and evading peace officers.

According to court documents, on Saturday, January 28, 2012, Fresno Police officers entered Figueroa’s residence and found the body of a man who had been shot and killed. A search of that apartment revealed methamphetamine, marijuana, and a loaded .357 revolver.

Subsequently, investigators located Figueroa in San Ysidro. Figueroa agreed to speak with the investigators. He acknowledged that he was a drug dealer and had arranged to sell an acquaintance an eight ball – 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine. That acquaintance and two other men came to the defendant’s apartment and bought the methamphetamine from him. After the sale, two of the men attacked defendant Figueroa. In response, Figueroa pulled a .357 revolver from his waistband and shot one of the men. Figueroa also noted that the revolver he used in the shooting was not the same one that was found when his apartment was searched.

If convicted, Figueroa faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a $1.5 million fine. The actual sentence, if convicted, 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.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sanchez is prosecuting the case.