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Transnational Gangs

Gang member indicted on firearms charge

FRESNO, Calif. - A member of Bakersfield's Eastside Crips gang was indicted in federal court Thursday for being a felon in possession of a firearm, the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The indictment alleges that on April 29, William Roger Hall, 25, a previously convicted felon, was in possession of a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. According to the court documents, Hall has a prior 2004 felony conviction in Kern County Superior Court for possession and sale of marijuana.

A criminal complaint filed earlier alleged that ICE agents, while conducting a gang enforcement operation, observed Hall engaging in what appeared to be an illicit drug deal. When the agents attempted to speak with Hall, he fled, discarding the gun, which agents later retrieved.

"This case should leave no doubt about our collective resolve to attack and dismantle the street gangs that are terrorizing our neighborhoods," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Bakersfield. "ICE is committed to using every tool at its disposal to combat gang-related crime and violence here and in communities across the country."

The maximum statutory penalty for the charge is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.