OAKLAND – Saul Espinoza was sentenced today to seven years 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 Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Judge.
Espinoza, 32, of Richmond, pleaded guilty to the charge on August 20, 2019. According to his plea agreement, Espinoza admitted he was driving a Toyota 4Runner in Richmond, Calif., on October 4, 2018, when he turned at a high rate of speed and flipped his vehicle on its driver’s side. Espinoza’s car came to a rest after colliding with an unoccupied van parked along the curb. He remained in the car while officers approached and found him in possession of a Springfield XD-40 0.40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, with a fully loaded 16 round magazine. Espinoza admitted that at the time of these events he was a convicted felon and therefore was not eligible to possess a firearm.
A federal grand jury indicted Espinoza on February 28, 2019, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
In addition to the prison term, Judge White sentenced the defendant to a three-year term of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving the sentence immediately.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan U. Lee is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Rodriguez and Kathleen Turner. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Richmond Police Department.