FRESNO, Calif. — Cesar Pena, 28, of Strathmore, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to three years and one month in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, on July 16, 2019, Pena, a Strathmore Norteno gang member and a convicted felon prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, sold a firearm to another individual in Fresno. Pena does not hold a Federal Firearms License, and as such, is also prohibited from selling firearms. On Oct. 2, 2020, Pena pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Massey prosecuted the case.
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.