News and Press Releases

Silver City Man Sentenced to Prison for
Violating the Federal Firearms Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Gabriel Anthony Saiz, 21, of Silver City, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 60 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for the unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle with an obliterated serial number.  The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 6th Judicial District Attorney Francesca Martinez-Estevez, Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Murray of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Chief Ed Reynolds of the Silver City Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez said that Saiz and his co-defendant were prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this 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.

“I would like to commend the Silver City Police Department for their excellent work in protecting the community from these violent offenders,” said 6th Judicial District Attorney Francesca Martinez-Estevez.

Saiz and his co-defendant Javier J. Reyes, 20, of the Village of Santa Clara in Grant County, N.M., were charged with possession of an unregistered firearm in a criminal complaint filed on March 1, 2013.  The two subsequently were indicted and charged with possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle, and 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 on Nov. 27, 2012, in Grant County, N.M.

Court filings reflect that Saiz and Reyes were arrested on local charges by the Silver City Police Department on Nov. 27, 2012, in Silver City after they 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 provided the license plate number for the vehicle in which Saiz and Reyes were driving.  When the officers arrested the men on state charges, they observed a firearm on the floor board under the front passenger seat.  The state charges against the defendants subsequently were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.

Saiz pled guilty in Sept. 2013 to both counts of the indictment.

Co-defendant Reyes was released pending trial following his arrest.  While on release, Reyes was arrested on Oct. 25, 2013, for receiving a firearm while under indictment.  On Dec. 6, 2013, Reyes pled guilty to the indictment.  He was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on June 25, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Silver City Police Department, with assistance from the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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