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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 23, 2020

Humboldt County Resident Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Prison For Illegally Possessing Firearms As A Convicted Felon

Defendant admitted to possessing seven firearms, multiple high-capacity magazines, and over 400 rounds of ammunition

SAN FRANCISCO – Joshua Wentworth was sentenced to 77 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.

Wentworth, 31 of Eureka, pleaded guilty to the charge on October 16, 2019.  According to the plea agreement, Wentworth admitted that on May 12, 2019, he possessed seven firearms, including two AR-15 assault rifles and one pistol with an attached Glock switch conversion device.  According to documents filed by the government during sentencing, the conversion device made the pistol operate as a fully automatic firearm.  In addition to the firearms, Wentworth admitted he possessed over 400 rounds of ammunition, some of which were loaded in various high-capacity magazines, including two 30-round magazines for the assault rifles and a 50-round drum magazine for a .40 caliber pistol.  Wentworth also admitted that at the time he possessed the weapons and ammunition, he was a convicted felon and therefore was ineligible to possess the items.  

A federal grand jury indicted Wentworth on August 20, 2019, charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).  Wentworth pleaded guilty to the charge.  

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Breyer described the nature of the firearms found in the Wentworth’s possession as “scary.”  In addition, the government’s sentencing memorandum highlighted text messages in which Wentworth discussed purchasing firearms, his efforts to locate a trailer with a large amount of cash in it, driving to San Francisco to find a “target,” and his need to borrow another person’s bullet proof vest.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer sentenced the defendant to a 3-year period of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment. Wentworth is in federal custody and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick O’Brien is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Morgan Byrne.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.
 

Updated January 23, 2020