Twin Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Second Federal Gun Offense
BOISE – Karl Valencia, 39, of Twin Falls, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court to unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.
According to the plea agreement, Valencia was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a 1997 aggravated assault conviction in Twin Falls County. In 2016, Valencia was convicted for the first time of unlawful possession of a firearm in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. In July 2017, he was serving the remainder of his federal sentence in the 2016 case at the Port-of-Hope halfway house. On July 16, 2017, after not returning to the Port-of-Hope as scheduled, Valencia was stopped for a traffic infraction in Mountain Home, where he was found in possession of a Ruger pistol. As part of his plea, Valencia also agreed to forfeit the Ruger pistol.
Sentencing is set for April 18, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge David C. Nye.
Unlawful possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a term of supervised release up to three years.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.