Silver City Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Gabriel Anthony Saiz, 20, of Silver City, N.M., pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces this afternoon to firearms charges. Saiz entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Saiz and his co-defendant Javier J. Reyes, 19, of the Village of Santa Clara, N.M., were charged with possession of an unregistered firearm in a criminal complaint filed on March 1, 2013. The two men subsequently were indicted and charged with (1) possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle, and (2) possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. According to the indictment, Saiz and Reyes possessed a firearm made from a Mossberg .22 caliber rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches and an obliterated serial number that was not registered to either man on Nov. 27, 2012, in Grants County, N.M.
According to court filings, Saiz and Reyes were arrested on local charges by the Silver City Police Department on Nov. 27, 2012, in Silver City after they allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint at approximately 7:30 p.m. that day and allegedly assaulted four individuals by brandishing a firearm at them approximately an hour later. The officers were able to apprehend Saiz and Reyes at approximately 9:00 p.m. that night because the victim of the armed robbery reported the crime and provided the license plate number for the vehicle in which Saiz and Reyes were driving. When the officers arrested Saiz and Reyes, they observed a firearm on the floor board under the front passenger seat.
During today’s proceedings, Saiz pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment. At sentencing, Saiz faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for possession of an unregistered firearms and a maximum penalty of five years in prison for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Reyes has entered a not guilty plea to the charges in the indictment and is scheduled for trial on Nov. 18, 2013. The charges against Reyes are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough said, “The facts giving rise to this case demonstrate the importance of enforcing the federal firearms laws. Prosecuting individuals, like Saiz, who use firearms to commit violent crimes and endanger the lives of innocent victims makes communities like Silver City safer places to live and raise families. I commend the ATF for its commitment to working with state and local law enforcement authorities throughout New Mexico for enhancing public safety in our communities.”
“Today’s guilty plea serves as a perfect example of the federal-state teamwork we strive to achieve. I commend the efforts of the Silver City Police Department and the tireless commitment of the ATF agents involved in this case. I also wish to recognize the leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in their prosecution” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Silver City Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.