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Press Release

Fresno Man Sentenced to 5.5 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. — U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd sentenced Rudy Soto, 32, of Fresno, today to five and a half years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on May 7, 2019, Soto fled from police in a high speed chase, crashed into another vehicle, and threw a loaded gun with a round of ammunition in the chamber from the sunroof of his car. Police had recognized Soto and knew he was wanted on an active felony warrant. The pursuit and gun discovery followed. Soto was prohibited from possessing a firearm as a result of four felony convictions between 2009 and 2016 for corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant and three for evading an officer.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly 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 January 14, 2021

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 1:20-cr-092 DAD