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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Two Men Indicted for Trafficking Firearms in Sacramento and Placer Counties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment today against Jesus Rodriguez, 22, and James Raymond Sykes, 23, both of Sacramento, charging them with dealing firearms without a license and conspiring to do the same, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. The indictment also charges Rodriguez with possessing an unregistered and unserialized short-barreled rifle, and distributing methamphetamine and cocaine.

According to court documents, Rodriguez met separately with an undercover agent and two confidential sources on 12 occasions between September 5, 2017, and December 6, 2017, and sold them a variety of firearms, including a short-barreled rifle with a 90-round drum magazine, several AR-15-type rifles and pistols, and handguns. Court records also state that Rodriguez sold the agent cocaine and methamphetamine. In all, Rodriguez sold the undercover agent 34 firearms, many of which lacked a serial number or other identifying markings. Court records state that Sykes was present at, and participated in, at least five of the firearms transactions.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with special assistance from the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office’s Gangs, Hate Crimes, and Narcotics unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Delgado is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of dealing firearms without a license, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle or an unserialized firearm is 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The penalty for distributing methamphetamine is not less than 10 years in prison, up to life, and a $10 million fine. The maximum penalty for distributing cocaine is 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Firearms Offenses
Updated March 1, 2018