Stockton Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Gun Trafficking Crimes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gary Loch, 29, of Stockton, and Eugene, Oregon, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to five years in prison for conspiring to traffic firearms without a license, possessing an unregistered automatic weapon, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, between January and June 2016, Loch was one of several Stockton-based conspirators who sold about 47 guns to an undercover agent. Loch personally owned and sold three of these weapons, including a machinegun with a partially obliterated serial number. Several other firearms were automatic, carried extended magazines, or had obliterated serial numbers. Agents saw Loch removing several of these serial numbers himself. In total, Loch was present as 31 firearms changed hands at 10 transactions in Stockton and Las Vegas, Nevada. During several of these meetings, the undercover agent said that he could not legally purchase weapons and that he would introduce the guns to the black market. Loch and others completed the purchases nonetheless.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Beck and Richard Bender prosecuted the case.
Loch has been in custody since October 18, 2017. Nearly all of his co-defendants have been sentenced for gun-related crimes: Jason Prom received 12 years in prison. Ronnie Dethvongsa received four years and nine months in prison. Kenny Prach received three years and six months in prison. Ariana Diaz received two and a half years in prison. Sean Chaichanhda and Hilberto Arevalos received 18 months each. Charges are still pending against co-defendant Adam Nhem, who is scheduled to appear in court on September 17, 2018. The charges are only allegations; he 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.