Lassen County man faces federal possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Joshua Paul Doyle, 38, of Susanville, charging him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Doyle was arrested twice in the span of six months during traffic stops, each time found to be in possession of methamphetamine for distribution and firearms. Doyle has been convicted previously of crimes punishable by more than a year in prison and is therefore prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms.

On May 12, when a law enforcement officer executed a traffic stop in Susanville on a vehicle for having no front license plate, the officer identified the driver as Doyle. During a pat-down search, deputies found methamphetamine in his pockets. In the search of Doyle’s vehicle that followed, deputies found a loaded handgun in the center console, as well as another loaded handgun and nearly a pound of methamphetamine in a backpack in the back seat. Doyle was arrested and later released on bail pending trail.

On Sept. 30, Doyle was again stopped in Susanville when a records check of the car’s license plate indicated it had been reported stolen. During a search of the car, officers found brass knuckles, roughly 5 ounces (150 grams) of methamphetamine, and a loaded handgun in the center console.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the Susanville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Conolly is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Doyle faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine for each of the narcotics charges, each of which also have a statutory minimum sentence of five years. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the felon in possession charges. 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 part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.