Fresno, California - Elias Muhammad, 21, of Fresno, was arraigned Thursday for a two-count indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. A federal grand jury returned the indictment against him on May 24, 2018.
According to court documents, Muhammad posted pictures of himself holding a firearm that was stamped “Detroit PD.” Investigators later recovered the firearm at a residence in Fresno where Muhammad had been staying. As a previously convicted felon, Muhammad is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Muhammad faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.