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Loaded Handgun Sends Fresno Felon to Prison for Three Years



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Despite multiple felony convictions for drug and gun offenses, Joel Jose Rueda of Fresno kept a loaded handgun hidden behind a headlight on his car.

But Rueda failed to fool law enforcement officers two years ago during a traffic stop. Learning that he was on parole, the officers searched Rueda and the car. They found the gun in several rolled-up t-shirts behind the driver’s side headlight.

Now Rueda, 28, will do a 37-month stint in federal prison, acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced in a news release.

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd in Fresno federal court on Friday morning.

The sentence is for one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm to which Rueda pleaded guilty early last year.

The FBI, Kerman Police Department, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio was the prosecutor.