Jicarilla Man Receives 27-Month Prison Sentence for Federal Firearms Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this morning in Albuquerque federal court, Homer Gonzales, Jr., 29, was sentenced to a 27-month term of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release based on his federal firearms conviction. Gonzales, an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, NM, has been in federal custody since his arrest on March 18, 2010.
The criminal complaint filed in the case states that Gonzales was arrested after the Jicarilla Apache Police Department (JAPD) received a report that shots had been fired from a pickup truck that was on the highway in the vicinity of Dulce Springs. When officers of the JAPD located the truck, they observed Gonzales in the driver’s side of the truck cab with a rifle lying beside him. Gonzales admitted to the officers that he was not supposed to have a gun, and his passengers reported that the rifle belonged to Gonzales and that he had fired the rifle. Gonzales was taken into tribal custody at that time.
After the JAPD determined that Gonzales had a prior felony conviction, it referred the case to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for federal investigation and prosecution. On March 18, 2010, after confirming that Gonzales previously had been convicted of a felony (sexual abuse in Indian Country) in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, ATF agents arrested Gonzales on the federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Gonzales was indicted on that same offense on April 14, 2010. On July 14, 2010, Gonzales entered a guilty plea to the indictment under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. In the plea agreement, Gonzales admitted that he had a prior felony conviction when he possessed and fired his rifle on March 13, 2010.
Assistant United States Attorney Louis E. Valencia prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the ATF with the assistance of the JAPD.