News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Fresno Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme that Sold Firearms Stolen from Turner’s Outdoorsman in Corona and Torrance

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Docket #: 1:12-CR-00349 LJO



FRESNO, Calif. — Joseph Vasquez Jr., 24, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit theft from a federal firearms licensee and possession of stolen firearms, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Torrance Police Department, Corona Police Department, Fresno Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC). Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

“Gun thieves and traffickers are the primary source of firearms, which are dangerous implements for those who engage in criminal activity,” said Joseph M. Riehl, ATF Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Field Division. “The message is clear; ATF and our partners will arrest those who break the law and traffic in guns.”

According to court documents, Vasquez participated in receiving and distributing approximately 54 pistols and rifles stolen in burglaries of Turner’s Outdoorsman in Corona and Torrance. The burglaries occurred on August 14 and August 22, 2012. Between August 14 and September 25, 2012, Vasquez and his coconspirators then sold or gave the firearms to multiple individuals in the Fresno area.

Vasquez is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neil on May 20, 2013. Vasquez faces the maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 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.



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