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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Trafficking and Firearms Charges

Chavez Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Manuel Chavez, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., entered a guilty plea in federal court this morning to methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Chavez will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Chavez was arrested on April 29, 2014, on a four-count indictment charging him with methamphetamine trafficking and firearms charges.  Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment charged Chavez with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition in Sept. and Oct. 2013.   At the time, Chavez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of the following felony offenses:  conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance, attempt to bring contraband into a prison and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement.  Counts 3 and 4 charged Chavez with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime on Oct. 24, 2013. The indictment alleged that Chavez committed all four offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Chavez pled guilty to Counts 3 and 4 of the indictment.  In his plea agreement, Chavez admitted that on Oct. 24, 2013, deputies of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his residence and found Chavez in possession of more than four ounces of methamphetamine and three firearms and ammunition.

Chavez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the Albuquerque Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Brawley and Sarah Mease.

The case is being 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.

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Updated March 4, 2015