A 19-year-old thought to be a key ingredient in the future of Fresno State men’s basketball was booted from the team Friday after he was booked back into jail.
Detectives from the Central Valley Gun Crime Task Force arrested and booked Joseph Hunter. He faces four charges:
- possession of an assault weapon;
- carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle;
- selling, loaning, and transferring a firearm without a dealer’s license;
- selling or transferring a firearm with intent to avoid legal requirements.
In 2022, while starring at San Joaquin Memorial, the 6-foot-6, 190-pound Hunter was named The Fresno Bee’s Boys High School Basketball Player of the Year. He didn’t play last season for Fresno State because of a thumb injury requiring surgery.
“In response to the serious nature of these unfortunate charges, and per our policies, the student-athlete has been dismissed from the men’s basketball program, effective immediately,” the university’s athletic department said in a statement to GV Wire.
Police previously arrested and booked Hunter on felony weapons charges on Tuesday, May 16, following a traffic stop. But the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office didn’t file charges against Hunter or another man arrested on May 16, Vonkell Damar Holmes, 21.
However, the DA’s office filed felony weapons counts against two others arrested after the traffic stop: Qiwon Whittiker, 25, and Isaiah Pirtle, 23.
Police Looking for Fourth Suspect
Detectives arrested Whittiker and Pirtle again on Friday. In addition, police said they are on the hunt for Holmes, who faces felony and misdemeanor firearms charges.
Whittiker, Pirtle, and Holmes have extensive criminal histories.
Have Tips on These Cases?
The Central Valley Gun Crime Task Force is a partnership between the Fresno Police Department and the ATF, focusing on firearm crimes in Fresno.
Detectives said that this investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).
Watch: Joseph Hunter on the Court
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