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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Using a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Ronald Lewis Chavez, 46, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced yesterday afternoon to ten years in federal prison for his conviction for using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence.

Chavez was arrested on Jan. 27, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Chavez subsequently was indicted in Feb. 2014, charging him with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to court filings, law enforcement officers seized a handgun found underneath the mattress of Chavez’ bed and ammunition concealed in two black boxes next to the bed when they executed a search warrant at his residence in southwest Albuquerque on Jan. 24, 2014.  Officers also seized plastic bags containing methamphetamine from a fanny pack buckled around Chavez’ torso.   

Chavez pled guilty on Sept. 15, 2014, to using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  He admitted possessing a semiautomatic pistol during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  Chavez also admitted to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Chavez was 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.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of the DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis E. Valencia prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 26, 2015