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Press Release

Bakersfield Resident Indicted for Illegal Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun

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

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal indictment was unsealed today that charges Jesus “Shotgun” Paniagua, 37, of Bakersfield, with being a felon in possession of a firearm and failing to register a firearm in the National Firearms Registry, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

On Dec. 19, 2019, a federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment. According to court documents, on Oct. 4, Paniagua, a previously convicted felon, was found in possession of an unregistered 20 gauge shotgun that was less than 26 inches long in violation of federal law.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Yim is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Paniagua faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see

Updated January 3, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 1:19-cr-277 DAD