Fresno State basketball player Joseph Hunter dismissed from program following new felony charges

By Diego Vargas, Editor-in-Chief

Fresno State basketball player Joseph Hunter, 19, has been dismissed from the Fresno State Men’s Basketball program effective immediately, after Hunter was arrested Friday on felony gun charges.

The development comes after Hunter was arrested less than two weeks ago along with three other individuals during a traffic violation stop near North Bengston Avenue and West Ashlan Avenue on May 17. Officers found a weapon and a loaded firearm, including an unregistered and unserialized AR-15 style .223 rifle with 20 live rounds. No charges were filed for that arrest against Hunter.

In Friday’s arrest, charges were filed after the Central Valley Gun Crime Task Force served five search warrants for an ongoing firearms investigation. Detectives arrested Hunter along with Qiwon Terry Whittiker, 25, and Isaiah Pirtle, 23, who were both arrested on May 17 during the traffic violation stop.

Fresno State men’s basketball player Joseph Hunter. (Keith Kountz/Fresno State Athletics)

“Fresno State Athletics was made aware of new charges filed against men’s basketball student-athlete Joseph Hunter Jr. and we are working closely with campus officials to ensure that applicable protocols are followed during this time,” the athletic department announced in a statement.

“Our priority continues to be the safety of our students and campus community. We will continue to cooperate with the Fresno Police Department. 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.”

Hunter now faces new felony charges, which include selling or transferring firearms with the intent to avoid penal code 27545, which is the sale, loan, or transfer of firearms without a license, possession of an assault weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, as reported by the Fresno Bee.

Vonkell Damar Holmes, 22, who was also arrested during the May 17 traffic stop, is wanted for felony and misdemeanor firearms charges and remains at large.