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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hanford Man Indicted for Dealing Firearms and Possessing Methamphetamine to Sell

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment today against Armando Castillo, 48, of Hanford, charging him with dealing firearms without a license, possessing unregistered firearms and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Castillo sold 17 firearms over the course of a 15-month period beginning in December of 2016. Five of the firearms were short-barreled rifles that had no serial numbers. Many of the sales occurred at the Cherry Auction Swap Meet in Fresno. Additionally, on March 9, 2018, when Castillo was arrested, he had over 50 grams of methamphetamine in his possession.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Castillo faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million 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 is brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 22, 2018