News and Press Releases

Armed Career Offender From Albuquerque Sentenced
to Fifteen Years for Illegal Possession of Ammunition

Sandoval Prosecuted as Part of
“Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Jonathan Sandoval, 27, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of ammunition.  The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough said that Sandoval was 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.

“Today’s lengthy sentence sends a strong message to career criminals.  We will continue to work aggressively with our state and local partners to hold the worst of the worst accountable for their criminal actions,” stated Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sandoval was arrested in December 2011, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition.  The indictment alleged that Sandoval unlawfully possessed ammunition in Bernalillo County on Aug. 24, 2011.  At the time, Sandoval was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of the following felony offenses in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico:  possession of a controlled substance, escape from a community custody release program, and four residential burglaries.  Sandoval also had been convicted of larceny and residential burglary in the 13th Judicial District Court.

On May 20, 2013, Sandoval pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing 30 cartridges of ammunition which were retrieved by law enforcement officers from his vehicle on Aug. 24, 2011.  In entering his plea, Sandoval admitted telling the officers that the ammunition belonged to him and that he purchased the ammunition when he was at a shooting range.

Sandoval received an enhanced penalty of a mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence because of his status as an armed career criminal.  According to court filings, despite his lengthy criminal record, Sandoval was never sent to state prison for any of his prior felony convictions.

These cases were investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn W.Y. Wang.

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