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Press Release

Fresno Escapee Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Samuel Delacruz, 38, of Fresno, was sentenced today to eight years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in 2017, Delacruz was serving the remainder of his federal sentence for a 2013 conviction at Turning Point Fresno Residential Reentry Center. On Oct. 15, 2017, he failed to return to the center as required following a day pass. A U.S. Marshals Service warrant was issued, but his whereabouts remained unknown for over five months. On March 22, 2018, when a sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull Delacruz over for a traffic violation, Delacruz attempted to flee in the car and then on foot. While he ran, he tossed a firearm into an area where children were playing. That firearm was loaded with 18 live rounds of ammunition. Fortunately, the gun was located and turned over to law enforcement.

Delacruz, an active Fresno Bulldog street gang member, has a previous felony conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. On Dec. 2, 2019, Delacruz pleaded guilty to the offense.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica A. Massey and Kimberly A. Sanchez prosecuted the case.

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 July 16, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 1:18-cr-070