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Press Release

Fresno Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Joel Jose Rueda, 28, of Fresno, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to 37 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on July 29, 2019, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a car that Rueda was driving. Because Rueda was on parole, the officers conducted a parole-compliance check and searched him and the car. Inside the engine compartment, behind the driver’s side headlight, officers located several rolled-up t-shirts concealing a loaded handgun with an obliterated serial number. Rueda is prohibited from possessing firearms because of multiple felony convictions for drug and firearm offenses. He was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and pleaded guilty on Jan. 13, 2020.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kerman Police Department, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting 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

Updated April 2, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Release Number: 1:19-cr-198