Firearms Trafficker Pleads Guilty to 27 Counts Related to Unlicensed Firearms Sales and Possession of Illegal Weapons
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against James Escandon, 39, of Bakersfield, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on Oct. 18, 2023, Escandon was found in possession of a stolen semi-automatic handgun. Escandon has prior convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of a controlled substance and is prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Arin C. Heinz is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Escandon faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.