FRESNO, Calif. — Tremayne Beard, 34, of Fresno, was sentenced on Monday by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill to nine years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on the evening of December 5, 2016, and continuing into the early hours of December 6, 2016, the defendant was at a party at the Fresno Fairgrounds. Fresno police officers were assigned to patrol the event after a recent surge in gang violence in Fresno. When shots were fired, officers observed Beard leaving the Fairgrounds parking lot at a high rate of speed. Police officers followed Beard’s vehicle, and he ultimately crashed into a parked car and a retaining wall. As he got out of his car and fled into a neighboring backyard, a witness saw him throw something. Beard was subsequently arrested and police found a .45 caliber handgun where the witness indicated something had been thrown. Numerous shell casings were found in the area where Beard had been parked at the Fairgrounds, including a .45 caliber casing that matched bullets in the gun found by the police. A partial .45 caliber bullet was also found lodged in a vehicle parked near the Fairgrounds. Beard has multiple prior convictions, and he was identified as a gang member by the Fresno police.
“This case highlights how the prosecution of firearms offenses helps to protect the community,” said U.S. Attorney Talbert. “The defendant’s conduct on the night of the offense put several lives in dangers, and I am grateful for the cooperative work among our law enforcement partners to hold him accountable for his crimes. My office is committed to prosecuting cases such as these, which have a direct impact on the communities we serve.”
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, has the country’s only crime gun-tracing facility,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder. “The mission of ATF’s National Tracing Center is to conduct firearms tracing that will provide investigative leads for federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies. In this case, the capabilities of ATF’s National Tracing Center provided information on the firearm used to investigators. ATF works closely with our partners in law enforcement to prosecute felons who illegally possess firearms and engage in acts of violence. This case is an example of how agencies can work together to help make our neighborhoods a safer place.”
Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer stated, “Removing Tremayne Beard from our community will have a tremendous positive impact on the safety of our neighborhoods.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fresno Police Department, the California Department of Justice, and the California Highway Patrol. The case was a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a joint initiative to combat gang and gun violence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez prosecuted the case.