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Press Release

Tehama County Man Indicted for Dealing in Firearms and Related Offenses

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 39-count indictment Thursday against James Lane Winslett, 65, of Corning, charging him unlawful manufacturing and dealing in firearms, engaging in the business as a dealer in firearms without registering or paying tax, unlawful sales of firearms to prohibited persons, and multiple counts of possessing unregistered firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. The indictment was unsealed today.

According to court documents, between Jan. 27, 2018, and Oct. 28, 2021, Winslett was manufacturing and dealing in firearms while he was not a licensed manufacturer or dealer.  Winslett also had not registered or paid the taxes necessary to deal in firearms, and in June 2020 he sold a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing it.  Winslett is additionally charged with 36 counts of possession of an unregistered firearm for the 36 silencers found at his residence. Silencers are firearms and are required to be registered under the National Firearms Act.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from Customs and Border Protection and California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Sauvageau is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of manufacturing and dealing in firearms, Winslett faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. If convicted of any of the remaining counts, Winslett faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after considering any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated May 19, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods