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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Barela Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Marcos Barela, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Barela was charged by federal indictment on Oct. 7, 2015, with unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition on May 4, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the indictment, Barela was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior criminal history which includes felony convictions for embezzlement, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of a controlled substance, battery on a peace officer, arson and criminal damage to property.

Barela was arrested on a warrant for a state probation violation on May 4, 2015.  He was arrested on the federal indictment Jan. 21, 2016, after he was transferred to federal custody from state custody.

During today’s proceedings, Barela pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on May 4, 2015, he was in possession of a loaded firearm which he handled and placed in in the back pocket of his pants upon his arrest by law enforcement.

At sentencing, Barela faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the DEA with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Probation and Parole Division of the New Mexico Corrections Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh is prosecuting the case under 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 primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rate, on a per capita basis, is one of the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, N.M., under this initiative.

Updated April 1, 2016