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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Armed Career Criminal from Rio Rancho Sentenced to 15 Years for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge James C. Langenberg of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Chief Stewart Steele of the Rio Rancho Police Department (RRPD) announced today that Nathan Corley, 38, of Rio Rancho, N.M., was sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating the federal firearms laws.  Corley will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Corley pled guilty on April 19, 2018, to an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  According to court documents, on Sept. 27, 2016, Corley approached a home in Rio Rancho with a rifle in hand.  He used the barrel of the rifle to knock on the front door and spoke to the homeowner with the rifle barrel sticking out of his sweatshirt.  Corley then left the home in his car, striking a mailbox while speeding away.  He drove to a store nearby where he went inside and shoplifted almost $2000 in merchandise.  RRPD arrested Corley as he was leaving the store and walking back to his car.   Corley was carrying a knife in his pocket when police arrested him.  Officers also found an AK-47 rifle, ammunition, and open bottles of alcohol in Corley’s vehicle.

At today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Judith C. Herrera found that Corley is an armed career criminal based on his criminal history, including prior convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

This case was investigated by the FBI and RRPD.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Hurtado prosecuted the case under Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated November 29, 2018