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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Prison for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant One of 104 Individuals Federally Charged as the Result of ATF-Led Investigation Pursued in Support of Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Borrego, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to a year and a day in prison for violating the federal firearms laws by possessing an unregistered firearm. Borrego will be on supervised release for two years after completing his prison sentence.

 

Borrego and co-defendants Marcus Sowell, 19, Damon Giles, 23, Adrian Banks, 28, and Marcus Lewis, 27, were charged as the result of an ATF-led investigation that resulted in the filing of 59 federal indictments and a federal criminal complaint charging 104 Bernalillo County residents with federal firearms and narcotics trafficking offenses. The investigation began in mid-April 2016, when ATF personnel from throughout the country joined forces with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies in New Mexico to combat the high rate of violent crime in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The investigators utilized a number of investigative techniques, including undercover operations, historical investigation and targeting of multi-convicted felons in possession of firearms.

 

The investigation was undertaken in support 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 collaborate with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

 

Borrego and his co-defendants were charged in a 12-count indictment filed on June 30, 2016. The indictment charged the five defendants with committing the following crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M.:

  • Sowell, with possession of a firearm not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) and engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license on May 19, 2016;

  • Giles, with being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 19, 2016;

  • Giles and Borrego, with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license on May 31, 2016;

  • Giles and Banks, with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license on June 7, 2016;

  • Banks, with being a felon in possession of firearms on June 7, 2016;

  • Borrego, with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license on June 7, 2016 and June 10, 2016;

  • Giles and Lewis, with distribution of cocaine on June 9, 2016;

  • Borrego, with possession of a firearm not registered to him in the NFRTR on June 10, 2016; and

  • Giles, with engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license and being a felon in possession of firearms on June 13, 2016.

     

All five defendants have entered guilty pleas to charges in the indictment, including Borrego who pleaded guilty to Count 10 of the indictment, which charged him with possession of an unregistered firearm. Borrego is the last of the five defendants to be sentenced.

 

To date, 54 of the 104 defendants have entered guilty pleas and 19 have been sentenced. The remaining defendants have entered not guilty pleas. Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of ATF. This case was prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney.

Updated June 13, 2017

Topics
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime