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Press Release

Armed Career Criminal Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Jonathan Matthew Sandoval, 26, of Albuquerque, N.M., entered a guilty plea this morning to being a felon in possession of ammunition.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Sandoval will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.  Sandoval’s guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Thomas G. Atteberry, Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Sandoval pled guilty to Count 1 of a superseding indictment charging him with unlawfully possessing ammunition in Aug. 2011, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  At the time, Sandoval was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico, including four residential burglaries, an escape from community custody release program, and possession of a controlled substance.  Sandoval also previously had been convicted of residential burglary in the 13th Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico.

During today’s proceedings, Sandoval admitted possessing 30 cartridges of ammunition on Aug. 24, 2011, found in the trunk of his vehicle by law enforcement officers.  Sandoval admitted telling the officers that the ammunition belonged to him and that he had purchased the ammunition at a shooting range.

Sandoval has been in federal custody since Dec. 2011, when he was transferred from state custody to face the charges in this case.  Sandoval will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, when he will be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, which requires a mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence for career criminals.

Sandoval was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this anti-violence 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.

            The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn W.Y. Wang.
Updated January 26, 2015