FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Robbie Soto, 26, of Fresno, charging him with unlawfully possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony crime, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on Sept. 22, 2021, Soto was a passenger in a car that officers attempted to stop for a traffic violation. Soto fled from the car and led officers on a chase. Law enforcement officers eventually caught up to him, arrested him, and recovered two loaded firearms, one of which was equipped with a loaded high-capacity magazine. Soto has been convicted of felonies two times, in Fresno County in 2016 and in federal court in 2018.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio J. Pataca is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Soto faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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 are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.