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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Williston Man Found Guilty of Felon in Possession of a Firearm

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on October 29, 2014, GABRIEL LAZARO GARCIA-HERNANDEZ, a/k/a GABRIEL L. GARCIA, 54, Williston, N.D., was found guilty by a federal jury on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

On January 7, 2014, officers with the Northwest Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at Garcia-Hernandez’s residence in Williston, N.D. They found a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, five firearms and over 300 rounds of various brands and calibers of ammunition. One of the firearms, a .22 caliber rifle, had the serial number scratched off to the point it was illegible. The other four firearms were handguns.

Garcia-Hernandez was prohibited from possessing either a firearm or ammunition by virtue of multiple felony convictions, including 1991 New Jersey convictions for aggravated assault and armed robbery, a 1995 Florida conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and 2003 Florida convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The charge of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition carries a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for Garcia-Hernandez has not been scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Northwest Narcotics Task Force, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, the Williston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler is prosecuting the case.

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Updated February 4, 2015