News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Modesto Man Sentenced To Over 12 Years Imprisonment For Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

Monday July 1, 2013

Docket #: 1:12-CR-00217 AWI



            Fresno, Calif.-- Jaime Ornelas, 39, of Modesto, California was sentenced to 151 months in prison by the Honorable Anthony W. Ishii, U.S. District Court Judge, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney, Benjamin B. Wagner.

            According to Court documents, on August 13, 2012, California Highway Patrol officers observed the defendant driving on Crows Landing in Modesto at a high rate of speed.  They saw him stop the car in a driveway, and they pulled in behind him and activated their emergency lights.  The defendant ran from the car and then struggled with the officer that caught up with him, injuring the officer.  The defendant dropped a loaded stolen pistol during the chase.

            On October 14, 2012, the Ceres Police Department received a report that a man was passed out in his car at the drive-thru lane of a Foster Freeze.  Officers responded and found the defendant unresponsive behind the wheel.  They awoke him, determined his identity, and learned that he was on parole.  They searched the defendant and the car and found approximately $292 in cash and a sheet with names and numbers in his pocket, a black bag with approximately 34 grams of methamphetamine, 2 grams of heroin, and marijuana, and a grocery bag with a loaded 9mm pistol.  The defendant has 7 prior felony convictions since 1995 for a variety of controlled substance offenses, including drug trafficking offenses, and infliction of corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant.

             This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, California Highway Patrol, Ceres Police Department, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, and is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”).  PSN is a U.S. Department of Justice Initiative which supports a collaborative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement in an effort to combat gun and gang violence.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez.



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