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Press Release

Stockton Man Sentenced to 6.5 Years in Prison for Firearms Trafficking

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Johnnie Earl Ross III, 21, of Stockton, was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to 6.5 years in prison for conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and possession of an unregistered machine gun, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.


According to court documents, between Oct. 10, 2019, and Oct. 22, 2020, Ross and his co-conspirators sold at least 13 firearms to an undercover agent or confidential source on behalf of the Everybody Killa (EBK) street gang in Stockton. Many of the firearms were obtained out of state in Reno, Nevada, and some were obtained by a straw purchaser from federally licensed firearms dealers in Reno. One of the firearms was a Glock handgun with a switch that converted it to a fully automatic firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Spencer is prosecuting the case.

Charges remain pending against co-defendant Vin Whealen Gaines Jr. He is in custody and scheduled for a status hearing on Jan. 18. The charges against Gaines are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated December 16, 2021

Press Release Number: 2:20-cr-208-JAM