Fresno police, feds team up against gun-toting illegal immigrants

John Ellis (The Fresno Bee) | April 03, 2012

Local law enforcement officials are teaming with the feds to target gun-toting illegal immigrants in their latest effort to combat gang violence.

A recent example is Mario Guasan-Caserin. He is an admitted gang member who in January was sentenced to a year and seven months in federal prison for being an illegal immigrant who possessed a pistol.

When he is released, he will be deported to his native Mexico.

Guasan-Caserin’s prosecution is part of a new strategy in an ongoing law enforcement effort to crack down on gangs, particularly transnational street gangs, that are terrorizing local communities.

“It’s one more tool,” said Mike Prado, a supervisory special agent with Homeland Security Investigations. “And we’ve been pretty successful at it.”
In the past, someone like Guasan-Caserin probably would have faced a state charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, which likely would have been charged as a misdemeanor.

His prison term would have been lighter. In fact, he might have gotten probation. And without federal intervention, he probably wouldn’t be facing deportation at the end of his prison stint.

With overcrowding at the Fresno County Jail, he might even have been released back onto the streets within hours of his arrest. There is no early release from the Fresno County Jail for inmates facing federal charges.

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