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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Kern County Man Charged with Firearms Offenses

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Damien Torres, 22, of Wasco, charging him with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on Aug. 5, 2021, Torres was found in possession of ammunition after officers contacted him in response to a disturbance call. On Nov. 29, 2021, Torres was found in possession of a firearm after he failed to yield to officers as they were trying to stop him for a traffic violation. On March 18, 2022, Torres was found to be in possession of a firearm during a search of his residence, and on May 2, 2022, a firearm was found at Torres’ residence during a search after reports of a confrontation involving Torres striking a male with a firearm the day before. Torres is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition based on his prior convictions for taking a vehicle without consent and possession of a loaded a firearm by a gang member.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Torres faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. 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 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated September 15, 2022