Guatamalan National Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Charge
POCATELLO – Jose Cruz-Lopez, 44, a citizen of Guatamala who is illegally in the United States, pleaded guilty today to the federal indictment charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Cruz-Lopez was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pocatello on January 23, 2013.
According to court documents, on August 19, 2012, Fort Hall Police and Bingham County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the defendant’s residence because of a report that Cruz-Lopez had threatened his wife with a gun. A .22 bolt action rifle was found in Cruz-Lopez’s bedroom. In court today, Cruz-Lopez admitted to buying and possessing the firearm. The defendant is prohibited from possessing firearms because he is an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.
The charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The government is seeking forfeiture of the firearm the defendant illegally possessed.
Sentencing is set for August 12, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bingham County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fort Hall Police Department.
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.