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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dunlap Tenants Charged With Drug And Firearm Crimes

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today against two brothers, Rudy Alberto Gonzalez-Rocha, 28, and Eloy Damian Gonzalez-Rocha, 32, both of Jalisco, Mexico, charging them with three marijuana cultivation crimes, being aliens in possession of firearms, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Eloy Gonzalez-Rocha was also charged with being a deported alien found in the United States.

According to court documents, on January 8, 2014, Fresno County Sheriff deputies investigated complaints about a strong smell of marijuana and various activities at a property in Dunlap in Fresno County. They found the brothers, who are undocumented, in a rented mobile home on the property. After obtaining a search warrant, narcotics detectives found 260 marijuana plants, more than 200 pounds of processed marijuana, $15,160 in cash, and three firearms, one of which was reported stolen from Arkansas and another having an obliterated serial number. Eloy Gonzalez-Ramirez had been deported from the United States nearly one year before he was found in Dunlap. Under federal law, illegal aliens are prohibited from possessing firearms.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Both defendants have been ordered detained pretrial following a finding by a U.S. Magistrate Judge that the men are a flight risk and danger to the community. They are scheduled for arraignment and plea on the indictment on February 28, 2014.

If convicted of the drug offenses, the defendants face a sentence of five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. They face a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being illegal aliens in possession of firearms, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Eloy Gonzalez-Rocha faces a maximum prison term of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of being a deported alien found in the U.S. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 8, 2015