FRESNO, Calif. — Christopher Howard, 33, of Delano, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in the evening of April 28, 2021, police officers encountered Howard in Delano while he was carrying a bag that contained a loaded 9 mm caliber handgun and an additional loaded high-capacity magazine. Howard cannot lawfully possess firearms or ammunition because he has sustained numerous felony convictions, including for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, escape, and twice for second degree burglary.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Delano Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Baker is prosecuting the case.
Howard is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Dec. 13, 2021. Howard faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, 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.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.