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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stockton Man Indicted For Possessing Methamphetamine For Distribution And Carrying A Firearm During A Drug-Trafficking Crime

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Atanasio Jose Marcos Avila, 30, of Stockton, charging him with possessing methamphetamine for distribution, possessing a firearm as a felon, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. 

According to court documents, on September 22, 2018, Stockton Police responded to a call about a disturbance. When they arrived on the scene, they encountered Avila and found that his backpack contained two firearms, a box with 42 rounds of ammunition, methamphetamine, marijuana, and a digital scale. Avila cannot lawfully possess firearms or ammunition because he has a prior felony conviction. 

This case is the product of an investigation by the Stockton Police Department, with special assistance from the FBI’s Stockton Safe Streets Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Delgado is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of possessing methamphetamine for distribution, Avila faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. If convicted of possessing a firearm as a felon, Avila faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, Avila faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison, and a maximum statutory penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence would be determined at the discretion of the district court after considering any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 11, 2018