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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 12, 2018

Armed Career Criminal from Albuquerque Sentenced to Twenty Years for Federal Firearms and Assault Convictions

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Brent Broshow announced today that Nathan Jensen, a 35-year-old armed career criminal from Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for convictions in two federal cases, and violating the conditions of supervised release in a third case. 

Chief U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson sentenced Jensen to an aggregate of 20 years of imprisonment in the following three separate cases late on Friday afternoon (March 9, 2018), after Jensen entered a guilty plea to assaulting a federal officer: 

  • In the first case, in which Jensen was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Judge Johnson sentenced Jensen to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment.  This enhanced sentence was required by Jensen’s status as an armed career criminal and means that Jensen had at least three prior convictions for violent felonies and serious drug offenses when he committed the current offense of conviction. 
  • In the second case, in which Jensen was convicted of assaulting a federal officer, Judge Johnson sentenced Jenson to 100 months of imprisonment, including 48 months to be served consecutive to the 15-year prison sentence and 52 months to be served concurrent.
  • In the third case, in which Jensen admitted violating the conditions of his supervised release on a prior federal felon in possession of a firearm conviction, Judge Johnson sentenced Jensen to 24 months of imprisonment including 12 months consecutive to the 15-year prison sentence and 12 months to be served concurrent.
  • Jensen will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Anderson said, “At the age of 35, Nathan Jensen has been involved in the criminal justice system for more than two decades and is a prime example of the violent, repeat offender who needs to be removed from our community.  Jensen reoffended less than three weeks after his release from a lengthy federal prison sentence and while still under federal supervision.  While awaiting sentencing for that crime, Jensen violently assaulted a federal officer.  This prosecution and the sentence will make our community safer.”

“This sentence ensures that Nathan Jensen, an armed career criminal, will spend many years behind bars for assaulting a federal officer,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Durastanti.  “Jensen is a serial offender who has been removed from the community, along with any danger that could result from his actions.  The brave men and women of law enforcement risk their lives every day to protect us, and ATF will continue to vigorously pursue anyone who attempts to do them harm.”

“The U.S. Marshals Service is dedicated to removing violent criminals from our communities,” said Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Broshow.  “We work with our local, state, and federal partners on a daily basis to accomplish our mission.  Putting career criminals like Jensen behind bars makes our community a safer place to live.”

ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Jensen in May 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Jensen committed the offense while on supervised release from a prior federal felon in possession of a firearm conviction. 

The Court issued a warrant for Jensen’s arrest on May 4, 2016, based on a U.S. Probation Office petition, which stated that Jensen had been released from the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on April 25, 2016, after completing an 84-month prison sentence.  Jensen was to report to his probation officer and a halfway house at which he was to reside for up to six-months.  Jensen failed to report either to his probation officer or to the halfway house, and the U.S. Marshals Service’s Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team (USMS-SWIFT) arrested Jensen on the warrant on May 16, 2016.

Jensen subsequently was indicted on June 14, 2016, and was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On Feb. 27, 2017, Jensen pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that he unlawfully was in possession of a firearm and ammunition on May 16, 2016, when the USMS-SWIFT arrested him for violating the conditions of his supervised release. 

On Sept. 21, 2017, Jensen was charged in a second indictment with assaulting a federal employee. The indictment was superseded on Dec. 13, 2017, to add Waldo Nahle, 36, of Albuquerque, as a co-defendant.  According to the superseding indictment, Jensen and Nahle assaulted a federal employee who was engaged in the performance of his official duties in the Sandoval County Detention Center on May 11, 2017.

Before his sentencing hearing, Jensen pled guilty to the superseding indictment charging him with assaulting a federal employee.  In entering the guilty plea, Jensen admitted that on May 11, 2017, while detained at the Sandoval County Detention Center and awaiting sentencing on his firearms guilty plea, he assaulted a federal employee by repeatedly punching him in the face and head while other inmates restrained him.  Jensen acknowledged that the victim sustained serious injuries as the result of the assault.

Nahle has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge in the superseding indictment and is currently scheduled for trial in June 2018.  Charges in indictments are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law. 

The firearms case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of ATF and the USMS-SWIFT with assistance from the U.S. Probation Office, and the assault case was investigated by the USMS.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eva M. Fontanez prosecuted Jensen under a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat 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 primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 12, 2018