A Tulare County man received seven years and three months in federal prison at his sentencing on Monday for selling ghost guns and being involved in the illegal blood sport of cockfighting.
Pedro Gavino, 28, of Orosi, pleaded guilty to the charges in May of this year. U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced Gavino’s sentence in a news release.
According to court documents, from February 2017 to October 2018, Gavino sold 24 unregistered firearms, including AR-15-type pistols and AR-15-type short-barreled rifles that had been privately made. Privately made firearms using unfinished receivers are known as “ghost guns” because they do not have a serial number and are untraceable.
Guns Sold at Ranch, Selma Gas Stations
The gun sales took place at Gavino’s ranch in Orosi and at different gas stations in Selma after the buyer advised Gavino that the firearms were destined for buyers in Chicago and Juarez, Mexico.
During one of the illegal gun transactions, Gavino also sold two birds commonly used for cockfighting and six Mexican slashers, or short knives, that are attached to the leg of a rooster for the purpose of fighting.
In April 2018, Gavino brought five gamecocks to a large cockfighting event in an orchard in Orosi, where 200 to 300 spectators gathered. After two of Gavino’s gamecocks fought and won, there was a dispute, gunshots were fired, and the crowd dispersed.
Cockfighting Birds Found at Ranch
Later that year, during the execution of a federal search warrant at Gavino’s ranch, agents found 128 gamecocks, 30 hens used for breeding gamecocks, 278 Mexican slashers, and 10 additional firearms, including two AR-15-type pistols.
Gavino agreed to surrender the animals involved in the case.
This case stemmed from an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General with assistance from the California Highway Patrol and the Fresno Police Department Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.