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Press Release

Fresno Man Charged with Possession of a Machine Gun and Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms

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

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Walter Ryan Keith, 41, of Fresno, charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and possession of a machine gun, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, after execution of a search warrant at his home on June 5, Keith was found in possession of 14 firearms and a machine gun conversion device. Keith is a previously convicted felon and is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Massey is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Keith faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 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 was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated September 19, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 1:19-cr-197 LJO