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Press Release

Modesto Man Sentenced to Prison and Another Pleads Guilty to Burglarizing Fresno Firearms Store

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Johnny Sanchez, 22, of Modesto, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to 11 years and eight months in prison for stealing 50 firearms from a Fresno gun store last year, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. Co‑defendant Nathan Creel, 22, also of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Sanchez and three others in connection with the burglary of the firearms store.

According to court documents, on October 20, 2017, Sanchez, Creel, and co-defendants James Britt, David Avina, and Luis Galvan broke into the Fresno firearms store by cutting a chain and lock with bolt cutters and prying open the door. The defendants stole 50 firearms, including numerous foreign and domestic rifles. After the theft, the defendants sold most of the firearms to others.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Sanchez and Christopher D. Baker are prosecuting the case.

Creel is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge O’Neill on February 11, 2019. Creel faces a maximum statutory penalty of 25 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.

James Britt pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25, 2019. Charges are pending against David Avina and Luis Galvan. The charges are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated November 26, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 1:17-cr-278-LJO