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Press Release

Bakersfield Man Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Shotgun and Stealing Mail

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Christopher Smith, 36, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today to four years and six months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a shotgun, stealing checks and debit cards from the mail, and committing related financial fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court records, Smith, a previously convicted felon, unlawfully possessed a 12‑gauge shotgun that he was keeping in a storage unit. From March 2020 through July 2020, Smith also obtained hundreds of pieces of stolen mail that included 200 checks with a face value of over $100,000 and 27 debit cards belonging to other individuals and businesses. Smith then altered and forged the stolen checks and used the stolen debit cards to deposit the checks into victims’ bank accounts and make cash withdrawals.

This case was the product of an investigation by U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 30, 2023

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