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Smith County man sentenced for federal firearms and drug trafficking violations

TYLER, Texas– A Tyler man has been sentenced to federal prison for a firearms and drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.

Juan Espinoza, Jr., 27, pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm after having been previously convicted of a crime of family violence and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle on Jan. 31, 2024.

According to information presented in court, on Feb. 16, 2022, a federal search warrant was executed at Espinoza’s Tyler residence during which officers discovered approximately 4,600 grams of marijuana, 476 grams of Psilocybin, five semi-automatic pistols, a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, multiple rounds of ammunition, and $12,145.00 in cash.  Espinoza was convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in Smith County in 2016 and prohibited by federal law of possessing firearms or ammunition.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.

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Davilyn Walston

Public Affairs Officer

Eastern District of Texas

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