SACRAMENTO, 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 Sacramento returned indictments in the following cases involving illegal firearms offenses.
Michael James White, 37, of Redding, was charged today with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, White was arrested on two separate occasions following traffic stops. On Aug. 10, 2019, officers stopped White’s vehicle for a traffic violation and subsequently found a Megastar .45-caliber handgun; and on Nov. 5, 2019, officers again stopped White’s vehicle following a traffic violation and found a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum tucked into White’s waistband. White has several prior felony convictions—including prior convictions for illegally possessing firearms—that prohibit him from possessing firearms.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, the Redding Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron D. Pennekamp is prosecuting the case.
Carlos Biviescas, 28, of Vacaville, was charged on July 9 with one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. According to court documents, Biviescas has two prior felony convictions and is prohibited from possessing ammunition.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Vacaville Police Department, with special assistance from the FBI’s Solano County Violent Crimes Task Force and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian T. Kinsella is prosecuting the case.
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.
These cases are 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.
These cases are 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.