Visalia man indicted for illegal gun sales

Federal grand jury charges Shawn Saesee for selling firearms, including machine guns, without a license to an undercover agent

By Mid Valley Times Staff
Published May 28, 2024  • 
3:00 pm
Washington D.C., USA - February 29, 2020: Sign of United States

FRESNO – A Visalia man could spend a decade behind bars alongside a hefty fine after he was indicted for unlawfully selling firearms, including machine guns, to an undercover agent.

A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment on May 23 against Shawn Saesee, 20, of Visalia, charging him with unlawful transfer of firearms in violation of the National Firearms Act and dealing and manufacturing firearms without a license, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Saesee sold an undercover agent eight firearms, including five machine guns, on four separate occasions. Saesee sold the firearms despite being told by the undercover agent he could not legally possess firearms.

If convicted, Saesee faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. 

The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Fresno Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Veneman-Hughes is prosecuting the case. This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. 

On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. 

Mid Valley Times Staff