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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

May 30, 2013

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood
(916) 554-2706

Sacramento Man Indicted for Possessing a Handgun After He Had a Misdemeanor Conviction for Domestic Violence

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kristopher Nichols, 32, of Sacramento, was indicted today for possession of a firearm after having a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jill Thomas and Special Assistant United States Attorney Barbara G. Borkowski are prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, Nichols was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in February 2012 in Sacramento County. Because of that conviction, he was not permitted to possess a firearm under federal law.

This prosecution is the result of a U.S. Department of Justice effort to use firearms and ammunition federal statutes to curb potential domestic violence incidents. In recognition of the severity of the crimes associated with gender-motivated violence, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. VAWA is comprehensive legislative designed to end violence against women through criminal penalties, federal grant programs, and research and was reauthorized in February 2013.

If convicted, Nichols faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.