Two Fresno Residents Indicted for Illegal Firearm Possession
RESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned two indictments Thursday charging two Fresno men with illegal possession of firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
David Mitchell, 58, of Fresno, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to court documents, following a traffic stop on Oct. 13, 2022, Mitchell was found in possession of a handgun and methamphetamine. He has a prior felony conviction for petty theft and he is prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition. Later that day, law enforcement officers searched Mitchell’s residence and located more methamphetamine. Officers also uncovered text messages indicative of drug distribution on Mitchell’s phone.
Victor Mata, 43, of Fresno, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, on Sept. 13, 2022, Mata was found in possession of a handgun with an extended magazine. Mata has a prior felony conviction for transportation of controlled substances and is prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition.
These cases are the product of an investigation by the Fresno Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Arin C. Heinz is prosecuting the cases.
If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, if convicted, the mandatory minimum penalty for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine is 10 years in prison up to life and a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
These cases are 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 Department 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.