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Criminal Justice News
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Bulldog Gang Members Arrested in Citywide Action
Four Facing Federal Firearms Charges
FRESNO, Calif. — Four alleged members of the Bulldog
criminal street gang are in custody today facing federal firearms charges,
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl announced.
According to court documents, the defendants in these
cases are alleged to be Bulldog gang members. Each told police they possessed
the firearms in question for protection.
Eric Torres, 20, of Fresno, made his initial appearance in
federal court today on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Fernando Casas, 37; Arthur Mendoza Gonzalez, 42; and Robert Nunez, 30, all of
Fresno, are in custody on unrelated state charges and face federal charges of
being a felons in possession of firearms. Nunez is also charged with possessing
an unregistered firearm.
These cases are the product of investigations by federal,
state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fresno Police Department, and
the United States Marshal Service. They are part of the Project Safe
Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which brings together federal, state and local
law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased
federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to
communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders. Assistant
U.S. Attorney Laurel Montoya is prosecuting Nunez and Casas, Assistant U.S.
Attorney Yasin Mohammad is prosecuting Torres, and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting Gonzalez.
"Gang members who possess guns put our communities at
risk," said Joseph M. Riehl. "ATF will continue to remove guns from
street gangs and target those violent criminals who illegally possess them in
an effort to reduce violent crime in and around Fresno."
The maximum statutory penalty for being a felon in
possession of a firearm, and for possessing an unregistered firearm is 10 years
in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will be
determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable
statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into
account a number of variables. The charges against defendants are only
allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.