Modesto Man Charged with Drug Trafficking, Illegal Firearms Possession

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A syringe with ampoules, white powder, a five-dollar bill with bullets and a gun lying on a black glass background. Dangerous bad habits, addiction to drugs and gambling. Crime because of drugs.

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Joshua David Harrington, 35, of Modesto, charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on April 2, 2021, Harrington discarded a backpack with two firearms while fleeing from law enforcement officers. Harrington is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. Officers also located methamphetamine possessed by Harrington for distribution in the garage at his residence. On Aug. 14, 2021, Harrington possessed methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it in Modesto.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office; the Stanislaus County Probation Department; and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Schuh is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Harrington faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the felon in possession charge, and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison up to a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine on each drug trafficking count. 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.

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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.

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