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Press Release

Lincoln Man Sentenced for Firearms Possession and Conspiracy

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

Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Josef D. Barraza, 25, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced December 18, 2023, in federal court in Lincoln for firearms conspiracy and possession of a weapon in furtherance of drug trafficking. United States Senior District Court Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Barraza to 204 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Barraza’s release from prison, he will begin a 5-year term of supervised release.

Josef D. Barraza was prohibited from purchasing firearms in the State of Nebraska because of previous drug and firearms convictions. Due to his inability to purchase firearms, he made an agreement with his co-defendant Rachel Pageler to purchase firearms for him.  Barraza would then illegally transfer and sell these firearms to other third parties.

In November of 2020, investigators executed a series of search and arrest warrants for members of the No Names Demon gang in Lincoln, Nebraska.  On that same day, Pageler reported to police that some weapons had been stolen, when in fact, at Barraza’s direction, the weapons were transferred or sold to gang members. Those weapons were used by members of the gang in robberies and rival gang shootings and threats.

Upon his arrest in June 2021, investigators with the Lincoln Police Department went to the shared residence of Barraza and Pageler.  Investigators seized firearms, including multiple Glock handguns and ammunition, one with an extended clip that was loaded and controlled substances, including methamphetamine and marijuana.   Investigators also recovered $1,200 in United States currency from Barraza, who was unemployed.  Pageler is set to be sentenced for her role in the crimes in February 2024.

This case was brought as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

This case was investigated by the Lincoln Police Department.


Lecia Wright, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney (402) 661-3700

Updated December 19, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses