Fresno, California - A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Thursday against Oscar Armando Orellana Guevara, 23, of Mendota, charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, on Aug. 28, 2020, Guevara and others assaulted a man by punching, kicking and stabbing him with a straight-blade knife. They stabbed him in his chest, thigh, abdomen, and arm. During the confrontation, Guevara announced the group’s affiliation with Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 and threatened to kill him and a companion. The assault occurred in and around an area of Mendota over which MS-13 claims control, and before assaulting him, Guevara and others told the victim he could not be there.
This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI, Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mendota Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Sanchez and Stephanie Stokman are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the assault with a dangerous weapon, Guevara faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for the conspiracy charge is three years in prison and a fine of 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. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.