FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – A Bakersfield man was arrested on Wednesday following a firearm trafficking investigation involving over 100 guns found at crime scenes, according to the Department of Justice.
According to court documents, the investigation began when law enforcement said they had discovered firearms traced to Joshua Ruic Kimball, 40, of Bakersfield had been seized in connection with various crimes. Over 100 such firearms have been traced to Kimball since 2021. Undercover agents then contacted Kimball at his place of business, Show Off Sports LLC in Bakersfield, at which point Kimball sold undercover agents multiple weapons, including short-barreled rife and several silencers.
The DOJ says all of the weapons were sold without background checks or documentation, as required by law.
“The results of Operation Last Member are not only impressive, but they highlight the profound impact of combating illegal and indiscriminate sales of firearms to criminals,” Fresno Police Department Chief Paco Balderrama said. “The recovery of at least 102 firearms used in crimes from a single source in the western United States is a significant achievement.”
The Fresno Police Department was involved as part of the Central Valley Crime Gun Task Force, which conducted the investigation.
The criminal complaint for Kimball includes unlawful trafficking of firearms controlled by the National Firearms Act and unlawful trafficking of firearms in violation of state law, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
If convicted, the DOJ says Kimball faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine for trafficking in firearms; 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for unlawfully trafficking in controlled firearms; and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for unlawfully trafficking in firearms in violation of state law.