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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 2, 2020

Fresno Man Sentenced to over 20 Years in Prison for Illegal Firearms Possession and Drug Trafficking

FRESNO, Calif. — Darien Hatcher, 29, of Fresno, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to 20 years and six months in prison for two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

On Oct. 22, 2015, Hatcher was arrested in Fresno for possession of a loaded Ruger 9 mm pistol that was not registered in his name and had been reported stolen. Hatcher was a previously convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. On July 18, 2016, Hatcher pleaded guilty to the charge. While out on bond and awaiting sentencing for this conviction, Hatcher conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine in Fresno. On Nov. 22, 2016, Hatcher was arrested and again found to be in possession of a firearm. He was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, on Nov. 18, 2019, Hatcher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fresno Police Department, the California Department of Justice, the California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, and MAGEC. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez prosecuted the cases.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

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 www.justice.gov/psn.

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 www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
1:15-cr-305; 1:16-cr-187 DAD
Updated March 2, 2020