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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Feb. 7, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Illegal Possession Lands Local Man in Federal Prison
Involved in altercation at local bar and grill

LAREDO, Texas – Fernando Perez, 28, of Laredo, Texas, has been sentenced to federal prison for 41 months for illegally possessing a firearm, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. United States District Judge Marina García Marmolejo handed down the sentence this morning which will be followed by two years of supervised release. 

Perez and Ruben Ibarra, 37, also of Laredo, were involved in an altercation at the Coyote Creek Bar and Grill restaurant during the early morning hours of Feb. 28, 2011. Ibarra pleaded not guilty to the charge, but was convicted by a federal jury in Laredo on Oct. 27, 2011, and was later sentenced to 120 months in federal prison. Perez had pleaded guilty to the charge several weeks earlier. At the time of his guilty plea, Perez admitted that he ran from Ibarra’s car carrying the Glock 9mm pistol, with a 30-round clip, which Ibarra had used to threaten several patrons and a security guard at the restaurant. Laredo Police Department officers who responded to the incident and saw Perez running with the gun in hand, recovered the jammed, but loaded, pistol.

Perez has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 19, 2011, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility in the near future.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. Since its inception in 2001, approximately $2 billion has been committed to this initiative. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang violence reduction strategies.

The matter was investigated by the ATF in conjunction with the Laredo Police Department. Several police officers have been cross-designated as ATF Task Force Officers working directly with the federal agency, assisting in the investigation of this and other crimes. Assistant United States Attorney Homero Ramirez prosecuted the case.