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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Federal Jury Finds Carlsbad Man Guilty of Violating Federal Firearms Laws

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., returned a verdict today finding Mia Coy Campbell guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and Commander James McCormick of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF).

Campbell, 32, of Carlsbad, N.M., was arrested on Oct. 8, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm on Sept. 24, 2015, in Eddy County, N.M.  Campbell was subsequently indicted on the same charge on Nov. 5, 2015.  Campbell was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and escape of a prisoner in custody of a correctional institution or officer. 

The trial of Campbell on the indictment began on March 22, 2016 and concluded today when the jury returned a verdict finding Campbell guilty on the sole count of the indictment. The evidence at trial established that on Sept. 24, 2015, PVDTF and FBI agents went to Campbell’s residence and arrested him on an outstanding federal arrest warrant.  Campbell was arrested as he was walking away from a canopy that had a partially disassembled go-cart underneath.  When arrested, Campbell’s hands were dirty and greasy and it appeared as if he had been working on the go-cart.  A smoldering Marlboro cigarette that was near a tool bag by the go-cart drew an officer’s attention to the tool bag where the officer found a firearm.  A search of Campbell incident to arrest revealed that he had a pack of Marlboro cigarettes in his pocket containing the same type of cigarette that was smoldering on the ground near the go-cart. 

Campbell has been in custody since his arrest in Oct. 2015, and will remain detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Campbell faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force with assistance from the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randy M. Castellano and John Andrew Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

The Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department and Artesia Police Department and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force.  The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.  HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.

Updated March 24, 2016