Skip to main content
Press Release

Christopher Cook Appears in Federal Court on Indictment Charging a Violation of the Federal Firearms Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Cook Prosecuted as Part of “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Christopher Cook, 37, of Albuquerque, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court this morning on an indictment charging him with violating the federal firearms laws, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of ATF, Chief Gorden E. Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas.

U.S. Attorney Martinez said that Cook is being 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 based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing them from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders with significant criminal conviction records from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.

Cook initially was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in a criminal complaint filed by ATF on Jan. 6, 2015.  The criminal complaint alleged that Cook unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition on Jan. 3, 2015, when Cook shot an APD officer during a traffic stop in Bernalillo County, N.M.  On March 10, 2015, Cook was indicted on that same charge.  According to court records, Cook was prohibited from possessing either firearms or ammunition on Jan. 3, 2015, because he previously has been convicted of at least eleven felony offenses, including two involving attempted aggravated assaults on peace officers.

Cook was in state custody on related state charges from his arrest on Jan. 3, 2015, and until he was transferred to federal custody to face the charges in the federal indictment.  Cook has entered a guilty plea to the state charges and is awaiting sentencing in state court

If convicted of the federal charge, Cook faces up to ten years in federal prison.  If the court determines that Cook is an armed career criminal, Cook faces an enhanced sentence of a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison to a maximum of life imprisonment. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are mere accusations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Albuquerque Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State Police with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh is prosecuting the case.

Updated November 2, 2015