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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Fresno Man Sentenced to over 3 years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm

FRESNO, Calif. — Jesse Moses Escano, 22, of Fresno, was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to three years and three months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on July 16, 2019, law enforcement officers conducted a parole-compliance check on Escano. During a pat down search, one of the officers discovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun on Escano’s person. The handgun was later determined to have been stolen out of Brentwood. Escano had been previously convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

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 Justin J. Gilio 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

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 19, 2021