Skip to main content
Press Release

Guatemalan Man Pleads Guilty to Gun and Ammunition Charges

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

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MISAEL BERNAL, age 33, a citizen of Guatemala, pled guilty yesterday to a one-count indictment for violating the Federal Gun Control Act.

According to court documents, officers of the New Orleans Police Department were dispatched to a residence after receiving a 911 call in reference to a man firing a gun into the air. Responding officers encountered BERNAL outside of his residence and observed several spent 9mm shell casings on the ground. After conducting an investigative frisk for officer safety, a box of 9mm ammunition was located in his right front pocket. While conducting the investigation, officers located a witness who indicated that BERNAL went back into his residence after firing the weapon. Officers applied for a search warrant on his residence which later yielded a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. BERNAL was arrested and federal agents later determined that he had been previously removed from the United States on April 30, 2013 and had no permission to reenter. 

BERNAL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of $250,000, three years supervised release after imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon set sentencing for July 12, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated April 13, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods