Artesia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Anthony Herrera, 23, of Artesia, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in Las Cruces federal court to firearms charges under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Herrera was arrested in July 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and was indicted in Oct. 2013 on that same charge and for unlawfully possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun on April 10, 2012 . At the time, Herrera was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of a felony offense of criminal solicitation.
Court filings reflect that the investigation leading to the charge against Herrera arose out of a drive-by shooting incident on Aug. 5, 2012. On that day, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a drive by shooting during which numerous shots were fired at a residence and a vehicle. After Herrera was identified as the individual who fired the shots by witnesses, Eddy County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at his home on Aug. 10, 2012, at Herrera’s residence and found a .45 Caliber, semi-automatic pistol and ammunition. They also located a .12 gauge short-barreled shotgun and ammunition inside of Herrera’s truck.
During today’s proceedings, Herrera pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that he unlawfully possessed firearms, including an unregistered short-barreled shotgun, and ammunition in Aug. 2012.
Herrera has been in custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, Herrera faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Artesia Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.