February 23, 2015

Williston Man Sentenced for Possession of Firearms and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon

BISMARCK—U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Feb. 23, 2015, Gabriel Lazaro Garcia-Hernandez, a/k/a Gabriel L. Garcia, 54, Williston, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of possession of firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Garcia was convicted on October 29, 2014, by a federal jury.

Judge Hovland sentenced Garcia to serve 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Garcia was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

On January 7, 2014, officers with the Northwest Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at Garcia-Hernandez’s residence in Williston, N.D. They found a small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, five firearms and over 300 rounds of various brands and calibers of ammunition. One of the firearms, a .22 caliber rifle, had the serial number scratched off to the point it was illegible. The other four firearms were handguns.

Garcia-Hernandez was prohibited from possessing either a firearm or ammunition by virtue of multiple felony convictions, including 1991 New Jersey convictions for aggravated assault and armed robbery, a 1995 Florida conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and 2003 Florida convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Northwest Narcotics Task Force, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, the Williston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.