FRESNO, Calif. — As part the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California’s strategy to reduce violent crime by focusing on firearms prosecutions, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that a federal grand jury in Fresno returned indictments in the following cases involving illegal firearms offenses.
Anthony Murillo, 37, of Fresno, was charged today with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, on April 17, Murillo possessed a Kahr Arms 9 mm handgun, and on May 15, Murillo was found to be in possession of a Glock 17 handgun and a Mini Draco AK rifle. Among Murillo’s prior felony convictions, three are for being a felon in possession of a firearm. These prior felonies prohibit him from possessing a firearm.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Fresno Police Department.
Brandon Castillo, 36, of Laton, was charged today with one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. According to court documents, on May 25, Castillo was found to be in possession of .223-caliber ammunition. Castillo has prior felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and for being a felon in possession, which prohibit him from possessing ammunition.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Selma Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Stokman is prosecuting both cases.
If convicted, the defendants face 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see www.justice.gov/projectguardian.