United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Three Indicted Today for Firearm Offenses
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative (PSN) brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announces the following actions in federal PSN cases.
Undocumented Alien Indicted for Illegal Firearms and Drug Trafficking
In the first case, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today, charging Jorge Rodriguez, XX, of Goshen, with being an undocumented alien in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to court documents, on May 23, 2013, a search warrant was executed at a residence in Goshen. Rodriguez was the only person present at the residence and was arrested as he came out of the bathroom area. Officers found a 12 gauge Winchester shotgun and also found 13 baggies that contained a total of 1.9 pounds methamphetamine. Five of the bags were beside the toilet and wet, and it appeared as though someone had attempted to flush them. According to the indictment, Rodriguez is an alien unlawfully in the U.S.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberley A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum statutory penalty for the firearm count of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For the drug offense, he faces a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Modesto Residents with Gang Ties Indicted for Firearm Offense
In the second case, Modesto residents Luis Flores, 29, and Curtis White, 29, were indicted today, charged with possession of a firearm while being a felon.
According to court documents, Flores and White are members or associates of the Bedrock Bloods gang. They were arrested after a reported assault involving a firearm. Officers located the revolver in the area where the reported assault occurred. Modesto Police officers obtained a surveillance video of Flores and White handling what appears to be the revolver.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Melanie L. Alsworth is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.