Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Firearm
BOISE – Arnulfo Villagomez-Franco, 38, a Mexican national formerly living in Boise, pled guilty today to counts one and two of a federal indictment charging him with deported alien found in the United States, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and forfeiture of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.
According to the plea agreement, on July 5, 2011, during a search of Villagomez-Franco's home in Boise, he was found in possession of an unregistered, sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun. Because Villagomez-Franco was previously convicted of delivery of a controlled substance on January 25, 1996, in Ada County, Idaho, a felony offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, he is prohibited from possessing firearms. Villagomez-Franco admitted possessing the firearm. At the time of his arrest, Villagomez-Franco was illegally and unlawfully in the United States, and had previously been deported to Mexico on April 6, 1998. As part of his plea, Villagomez-Franco agreed to forfeit the firearm to the United States.
Deported alien found in the United States, as charged in count one of the indictment, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison; the charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, as charged in count two, carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Both charges each carry a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Villagomez-Franco is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and prosecuted as part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.