Artesia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms and Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges Kimble Prosecuted as Part of “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Bryan O’Keef Kimble, 29, of Artesia, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to six counts of a seven-count indictment charging him with federal firearms and methamphetamine trafficking charges. The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, 3rd Judicial District Attorney Mark D’Antonio and Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough said that Kimble 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.
“Combating violent firearms crimes and the criminal use of firearms is a focus of our enforcement efforts in New Mexico,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor.
Kimble was transferred from state custody to federal custody in March 2013 to face federal charges in a criminal complaint alleging that law enforcement authorities seized firearms, methamphetamine and other drugs from Kimble on two separate occasions in Aug. and Sept. 2012. In Aug. 2013, Kimble was indicted and charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition (Counts 1 and 4); two counts of carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Counts 2 and 5); two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute (Counts 3 and 7); and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number (Count 6).
Court records reflect that Kimble was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition in 2012 because he previously had been convicted of the following felony offenses: possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico (Eddy County); and being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.
According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 12, 2012, the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kimble in Las Cruces on local charges after a deputy found a loaded handgun and methamphetamine in Kimble’s possession. During a search of Kimble’s vehicle, deputies found another firearm, more methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. On Sept. 14, 2012, the Las Cruces Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service arrested Kimble in Las Cruces on an outstanding state warrant. At the time of this second arrest, Kimble was in possession of methamphetamine, approximately 40 pills, and $4,725 in cash; a 9 mm pistol with an obliterated serial number was later found in Kimble’s vehicle.
During today’s proceedings, Kimble entered guilty pleas to all but Count 5 of the seven-count indictment. Kimble remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
At sentencing, Kimble faces the following maximum penalties: ten years in prison for each of the two felon in possession charges (Counts 1 and 4); less than five years nor more than 40 years in prison on the first methamphetamine trafficking charge (Count 3) and up to 20 years in prison on the second methamphetamine trafficking charge (Count 7); a mandatory five years in prison for carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Count 4) which must be served consecutive to the sentences imposed on the other charges; and up to five years for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number (Count 6).
Kimble is charged with state offenses arising out of the two incidents leading to his federal charges. The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting those charges.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the Las Cruces Police Department, the Las Cruces office of the U.S. Marshals Service and the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.