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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Timothy Patrick Shanks, 38, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to federal firearms charges under a plea agreement that requires the imposition of a 12 year prison sentence.  The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.

Shanks was arrested on July 3, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon unlawfully in possession of a firearm.  According to the criminal complaint, on June 24, 2013, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and ATF executed a search warrant at Shanks’ residence and recovered a firearm believed to have been used in the armed robbery of a Dollar General store located at 3211 Coors Blvd. SW on June 22, 2013.  On July 25, 2013, Shanks was indicted and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, violating the Hobbs Act by committing an armed robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Thereafter, Shanks was charged in a superseding indictment with the following six crimes:  (1) being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on June 22, 2013, (2) violating the Hobbs Act by committing an armed robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce on June 22, 2013, (3) brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, (4) distributing methamphetamine on May 9, 2013, (5) being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 21, 2013, and (6) being a felon in possession of a firearm on June 3, 2013.  The superseding indictment alleged that all six offenses were committed in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Shanks pleaded guilty to Counts 3 and 5 of the superseding indictment charging him with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In his plea agreement, Shanks admitted brandishing a .357 caliber revolver when he robbed the Dollar General store on June 22, 2013.  He also admitted possessing a 9mm caliber rifle on May 21, 2013.  Shanks acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance. 

Shanks has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Shanks will be ordered to forfeit five firearms and ammunition when he is sentenced.    

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of ATF and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh 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.

Updated January 26, 2015