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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Being an Alien Unlawfully in the United States in Possession of a Firearm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, 34, a Mexican citizen previously residing in Yuba City, pleaded guilty today to a charge of possessing a firearm while being an alien unlawfully in the United States, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. 

According to court documents, Huazo-Jardinez is suspected of having been the driver in a fatal car accident in Sutter County that killed three people — the parents and one child of a family of four — when the vehicle crashed into their mobile home as they slept on May 4, 2019. Huazo‑Jardinez was arrested at the scene of the accident. Authorities impounded the vehicle, a Chevrolet Avalanche registered to Huazo-Jardinez, and later recovered a handgun from the vehicle’s center console. A database query revealed that the handgun had been reported stolen in Boise, Idaho.

Huazo-Jardinez is a citizen and national of Mexico who has twice been removed from the United States and has not been granted permission to return. As an alien unlawfully in the United States, Huazo-Jardinez is prohibited by federal statute from possessing a firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol, Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Conolly and Shea Kenny are prosecuting the case. The Sutter County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting Huazo-Jardinez in the state case related to the May 4, 2019, fatal car accident.

Huazo-Jardinez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on Aug. 6. Huazo-Jardinez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

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 www.justice.gov/psn.

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 www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Immigration
Press Release Number: 
2:19-cr-102-MCE
Updated May 7, 2020