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Sibling felons charged in rifle-ammo cases

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A parolee and his brother, who has a previous felony conviction, were arrested and indicted recently as a result of a program designed to supervise high-risk parolees to discourage them from re-offending, especially with a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of Utah.

Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods identifies serious violent offenders to educate them about firearms laws. Jesus D. Beltran, 25, was identified as one such offender, based on his criminal history. In August, officers visited him and found a loaded SKS rifle and 86 rounds of ammunition. Further police investigation led to his brother, Horatio Noel Beltran, 29, who at one time also possessed the gun, a U.S. attorney's statement said.

The brothers were charged in separate federal indictments with possession of the rifle following their felony convictions. Jesus Beltran, indicted Sept. 22, was on parole after an attempted homicide; Horatio Beltran, indicted Oct. 7, has a federal conviction for possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

Horatio Beltran had an initial appearance on the indictment Oct. 12. He pleaded not guilty and is in custody. Jesus Beltran, who also is charged with possession of ammunition, is scheduled to appear Thursday before a federal judge. The potential maximum penalty for the charges is up to 10 years in federal prison, the statement said.

Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods aims to link together police, parolees and probation officers. Sentences in Utah for violations as a result of the project's efforts range from three months to 780 months, the statement said.