Man on Probation for Fresno County Second Degree Robbery Conviction, Fausto Piña Charged Federally with Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses
FRESNO, CA (STL.News) A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment today against Fausto Piña, 31, a Mexican national residing in Fresno, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, after Piña was arrested on outstanding warrants, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his apartment. That search yielded 97.17 pounds (41.8 kilograms) of methamphetamine, 2.42 pounds (1.1 kilograms) of cocaine, 1.3 pounds (.58 kilograms) of heroin, three firearms, loaded and unloaded large capacity magazines, and ammunition. A search of Piña’s person and vehicle yielded nearly $24,000 in cash. Because Piña is a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Multi?Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Massey is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of felon in possession of a firearm, Piña faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, Piña faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison up to a maximum of up to life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. If convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine or heroin, Piña faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison up to a maximum of up to 40 years prison, and a fine of up to $5 million on each count. If convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, Piña faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison up to a maximum of life in prison consecutive to the sentence on his drug conviction(s). 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 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.