Farmersville man lands 17-year federal verdict

Miguel Deniz to spend the next 17 and a half years behind bars in a federal prison for methamphetamine and firearm charges

Mid Valley Times Staff
Published October 20, 2023  • 
10:00 am

FRESNO – A man from the small town of Farmersville has yielded himself a big sentence following a major legal development on offenses that were uncovered in 2019.

Miguel Deniz, 33, was sentenced to 17 years and six months in federal prison for charges related to the possession of methamphetamine with an intent to distribute, unlawful firearm possession by a convicted felon and the illegal possession of a machine gun. U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert disclosed these details in an announcement made on Oct. 16.

According to court documents, this case unfolded on May 1, 2019, when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Deniz’s residence. What they uncovered included over a pound of methamphetamine, an AK-style rifle, a Mossberg pump-action shotgun, six handguns, 18 magazines, two handgun silencers, a ballistic vest, a large quantity of live ammunition and various firearm accessories. 

In the course of their search, law enforcement officers also stumbled upon “auto-sear” devices, which are contraptions designed to transform semi-automatic firearms into fully automatic machine guns. Notably, Deniz, by virtue of his status as a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

This complex case bore fruit from an exhaustive collaborative effort between Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the California Department of Justice. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sanchez adeptly prosecuted the case.

This case forms an integral component of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an innovative initiative uniting law enforcement agencies at all levels with the communities they serve. The program’s overarching objective is to mitigate violent crime and gun-related incidents, making neighborhoods safer for all residents. 

The U.S. Department of Justice fortified PSN on May 26, 2021, unveiling a strategy to curb violent crime by reinforcing fundamental principles. These principles encompass fostering trust and legitimacy within communities, extending support to community-based organizations that are dedicated to violence prevention, delineating precise and strategic enforcement priorities and assessing the outcomes achieved.

Mid Valley Times Staff