Vacaville High-Speed Chase Leads to Federal Conviction of Hayward Felon for Illegal Possession of Firearms

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SACRAMENTO : On Thursday, Aug. 26, after a three–day trial, a federal jury found Eligio Nunez, 42, of Hayward, guilty of being a felon in possession of firearms, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to evidence presented at trial, on Aug. 7, 2020, Nunez led police in a high-speed chase while driving a stolen Lexus. He ended the pursuit by abandoning the car in a grassy area off of Shelton Lane in Vacaville. After running from police, he was apprehended by officers in a dry creek bed. Just after he fled on foot, the car caught fire, which caused ammunition inside the car to explode. Later, an investigation found three handguns inside the burned car, which the jury found Nunez to have possessed. Nunez was prohibited from possessing firearms a result of his 10 felony convictions, which include assault with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, evading a peace officer, and two drug trafficking offenses.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Vacaville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Hitt and Paul A. Hemesath are prosecuting the case.

Nunez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb on Nov. 23, 2021. Nunez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, 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.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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