News and Press Releases

Mexican National Sentenced for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

March 01, 2012

POCATELLO – Miguel Angel Nava-Sotelo, 20, a Mexican national, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court in Pocatello to 24 months in prison for being an alien in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered Nava-Sotelo to forfeit the .22 semi-automatic rifle found in his possession. He pled guilty to the charge on October 26, 2011.

According to the plea agreement, on May 21, 2011, the Power County Sheriff s Office received a call about shots being fired near the Pipeline Campground in Power County. The responding deputy contacted Nava-Sotelo and another individual, who both denied firing a gun. Nava-Sotelo did not have a driver's license with him and was released. A short time later, Nava- Sotelo's vehicle was stopped by the deputy, who knew the defendant did not have a driver's license. Nava-Sotelo admitted that he had a gun behind the driver's seat in the vehicle. The deputy took possession of the gun, a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle with an obliterated serial number. Nava-Sotelo was interviewed by ATF and ICE agents at the Power County Jail on May 27, where he admitted to being in the United States illegally. According to the plea agreement, Nava-Sotelo admitted that he and a friend were test-firing the gun into the river on the day he was arrested.

The case was investigated by the Power County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The case was prosecuted as part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.