Roswell Man Pleads Guilty to Carrying a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime
ALBUQUERQUE – Tony Andy Gonzales, 61, of Roswell, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon to carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Gonzales’ guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Thomas G. Atteberry, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Gonzales was arrested on Nov. 15, 2012, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and subsequently was indicted and charged with (1) being a felon in possession of a firearm, (2) possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and (3) carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. According to court records, Gonzales possessed a firearm and heroin on Sept. 27, 2012, in Chaves County, N.M. At the time, Gonzales was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of burglary and drug trafficking felony charges in the 5th Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico in Chaves County.
This afternoon, Gonzales entered a guilty plea to Count 3 of the indictment and admitted possessing a firearm to further his drug trafficking activity. Gonzales acknowledged that on Sept. 27, 2012, officers executed a search warrant at his residence. Gonzales admitted that, at the time the officers were executing the search warrant, he was in possession of 24 individually wrapped packets of heroin which he intended to distribute to others. Gonzales also admitted that he was in possession of a loaded firearm that was easily accessible and located near a lockbox containing his drug proceeds.
Gonzales has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Gonzales faces a prison sentence of at not less than five years and not more than 40 years. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment will be dismissed after Gonzales is sentenced.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, The Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force and the Roswell Police Department with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brock Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this anti-violence initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.