Fresno, California - A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday against Hector Kioni Gongora, 43, of Fresno, charging him with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition after being convicted of a felony, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on Jan. 11, Gongora was arrested on a felony warrant and found to be in possession of a firearm and methamphetamine. A search of his residence recovered 177 additional rounds of ammunition. Gongora is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Fresno Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio J. Pataca is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the possession of methamphetamine count, Gongora faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million. If convicted of the counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, Gongora faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. 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.