Delano Resident Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearm

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Francisco Javier Melgoza, 41, a Delano resident, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of ammunition, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on June 25, 2021, a police officer encountered Melgoza driving a motorcycle in Shafter and discovered that Melgoza possessed a Polymer P80 9 mm handgun loaded with five rounds of ammunition, a 31-round high-capacity 9 mm magazine, and 16 grams of methamphetamine. Melgoza is prohibited from possessing ammunition because he has five prior felony convictions, including for grand theft auto, vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and two convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Shafter Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Baker is prosecuting the case.

Melgoza is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on Sept. 9, 2022. Melgoza 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.