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Press Release

Kings County Man Indicted for Arranging a Murder-for-Hire

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
Also charged with illegal possession of firearms

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment Thursday against Johnny Jaramillo, 50, of Hanford, charging him with using interstate facilities (a cellphone) with the intent to commit murder for hire, providing a firearm to a felon, possession of a firearm after being convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, and possession of an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.


According to court documents, on December 15, 2017, Jaramillo met with an undercover agent in Selma in order to sell him three firearms. During the sale, Jaramillo asked the undercover agent to kill a person with whom he was involved in a lawsuit. After some discussion of how the murder would take place, the undercover agent told Jaramillo that he would accept firearms as payment for the murder. On January 12, 2018, the agent and Jaramillo exchanged texts and arranged to meet that day. During the meeting, Jaramillo gave the undercover agent a 9mm pistol and ammunition and assured the undercover agent that the firearm could not be traced back to him. He also confirmed that the picture sent in a text was the man he wanted killed. Jaramillo was arrested on January 17, 2018, and is currently detained pending trial. The intended victim is unharmed.

Jaramillo is also alleged to have knowingly sold a firearm to a person who had a prior felony conviction in October 11, 2017. He allegedly possessed an unregistered short-barreled rifle and three pistols. Jaramillo is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction.

This case is part of the PSN (Project Safe Neighborhoods) strategy, a nationwide strategy for using existing resources to most effectively combat violent crime in partnership with state, local and tribal law enforcement and the communities we serve. This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) whose members come from the Fresno Police Department, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross Pearson and Kimberly A. Sanchez are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Jaramillo 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.

Updated January 26, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 1:18-cr-014 LJO