Fresno Man with Prior Violent Felony Record Charged with Federal Firearms Offense

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Richard Ricardo, 26, of Fresno, charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, a law enforcement officer pulled Ricardo over for a traffic violation. During the stop, the officer determined that Ricardo was driving on a suspended license, in violation of the California Vehicle Code. Before towing the car, officers searched it in accordance with the department’s inventory procedures. Inside the car, officers found firearm parts capable of being assembled into an operable firearm, ammunition, and firearm magazines. Ricardo is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of his prior felony convictions, including a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Fresno Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Ricardo 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.