Skip to main content
Press Release

Stockton Man Sentenced to Over Six Years in Prison for Firearms Trafficking and Methamphetamine Distribution

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vin Whealen Gaines Jr., 33, of Stockton, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to six years and five months in prison for conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and distribution of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between Oct. 10, 2019, and Oct. 22, 2020, Gaines and his co‑conspirators sold at least 13 firearms to a confidential source or an undercover agent 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. Gaines also sold about an ounce of methamphetamine to a confidential source on Feb. 20, 2020.

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.

Co-defendant Johnnie Earl Ross III, 21, of Stockton, was previously sentenced to six and a half years in prison for conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and possession of an unregistered machinegun.

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 May 31, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods