United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms Possession
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Docket #: 1:12-cr-295 LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — Onofre Espinoza-Torres, 69, of Grants Pass, Ore., pleaded guilty today to the charge of being an illegal alien in possession of firearms, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Court records revealed that Espinoza-Torres lost his resident alien status after sustaining a misdemeanor child sex abuse conviction in Oregon and being deported. He never regained status and was unauthorized to be here.
According to court documents, on August 15, 2012, Espinoza-Torres was stopped by the California Highway Patrol on Highway 99 near Modesto, and found with $27,400 cash in rubber-banded bundles hidden inside a lamp and a backpack in the trunk of his vehicle. There were also two stolen firearms and ammunition in the trunk.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Yasin Mohammad and Grant Rabenn prosecuted the case.
Espinoza-Torres is scheduled to be sentenced on February 11, 2013 by U.S. 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.