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Press Release

Merced County Man Indicted for Unlawfully Possessing Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Angelo Frank Salaz, 31, of Los Banos, charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on May 19, officers attempted to stop Salaz for traffic violations, including no front license plate and expired registration tags. Salas fled, however, running stop signs and driving on the wrong side of the street. Once the vehicle came to a stop, Salaz ran from the vehicle but was apprehended by the officers. When Salaz was searched, officers found .40‑caliber ammunition in his pockets and a loaded .40‑caliber handgun in the car under the driver’s seat. Salaz had been convicted of burglary in 2014, and in 2019, was convicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Los Banos Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting 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

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF is the largest anti-crime task force in the country, and its mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States. The prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi‑agency task force leverages the authorities and expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Updated November 5, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking