A Turlock man was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for a firearm offense.
Miguel Loza, 21, is charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. Loza was restricted from possessing firearms because of a previous felony conviction. In 2010 he was convicted of driving recklessly to evade a peace officer.
In November 2011, Loza was spotted by a Ceres police officer drinking a beer outside a Ceres convenience store. It’s illegal to be in possession of an open alcohol container in public.
The officer attempted to approach Loza, but Loza slipped into the store. According to the Ceres Police Department, Loza was hiding a loaded handgun on one of the shelves when the officer made contact with him.
Loza allegedly failed to comply with the officer’s orders and attempted to flee, which is when a fight broke out between Loza and the officer.
The police officer was eventually able to gain the upper hand in the struggle and Loza was taken into custody. The handgun was retrieved from where Loza allegedly hid it.
If convicted, Loza faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. If convicted, the actual sentence will 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.