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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two Indicted in Fresno for Drugs and Firearms Offenses

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned two indictments today charging two individuals with drug trafficking offenses and one with an additional firearms charge, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

In the first indictment, Michael Paul Lopez, 32, of Fresno, was charged with with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. According to court documents, on January 12, 2016, Lopez, a previously convicted felon, was in possession of a Raven Arms MP .25-caliber handgun that was loaded with .25-caliber ammunition. He was also in possession of methamphetamine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. It was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders.

In the second indictment, the federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Ivan Vizcarra, 28, of Los Angeles, charging him with federal drug trafficking offenses. According to court documents, on November 19, 2015, Vizcarra was arrested by the Fresno Police Department after he attempted to deliver 12 pounds of methamphetamine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. Griffin is prosecuting both cases.

If convicted, both defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 11, 2016