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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Andrew Steven Romero for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition

Romero Prosecuted Pursuant to Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Andrew Steven Romero, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., with violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition.  The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel L. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Romero initially was charged with violating the federal firearms laws in a criminal complaint filed on May 29, 2015.  The complaint alleged that Romero unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition on May 25 and May 26, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  At the time, Romero was prohibited from possessing either firearms or ammunition because he previously has been convicted of multiple felony offenses, including voluntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a destructive device by a felon, heroin trafficking, and receiving or transferring a motor vehicle.

The single count indictment filed by the federal grand jury on June 9, 2015, charges Romero with being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 25, 2015, in Bernalillo County.

Romero was arrested on May 26, 2015, on related State charges and currently is in State custody.  He will be transferred to federal custody to answer to the federal indictment.

If convicted of the charge in the criminal complaint, Romero faces up to ten years in federal prison.  If the court determines that Romero is an armed career criminal, he 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 merely accusations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Brawley is prosecuting the federal case, which was investigated by a multi-jurisdictional team that includes the Albuquerque offices of the FBI and ATF and the Multi-Agency Officer Involved Shooting Task Force, which is comprised of officers from the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police and the Rio Rancho Police Department.  The 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation of the federal case.

Romero 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 with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Updated June 10, 2015