Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty in Firearm Trafficking from Tennessee to Kings County

FRESNO, Calif. — Elvia Sanchez, 42, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to traffic in firearms by an unlicensed person, and the illegal transportation of firearms received in a state of residency, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, on Nov. 29, 2016, and June 12, 2017, Elvia Sanchez mailed firearms from Tennessee to Rafael Sanchez in California in connection with a conspiracy to traffic in firearms.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Lenoir City Police Department in Tennessee, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee assisted in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Stephanie Stokman are prosecuting the case.

Elvia Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on Jan. 6, 2020. Sanchez faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine related to the conspiracy to traffic in firearms by an unlicensed person, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine related to illegal transportation of firearms from her state of residence. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

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.