Felon from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearm and Ammunition
ALBUQUERQUE – Ronald J. Martinez, 44, an enrolled member and resident of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition.
Martinez was arrested in April 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting an officer of the Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Police Department (Police Department) with a dangerous weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the complaint, the offenses occurred when the officer responded to a call reporting that Martinez was threatening to shoot himself. When the officer arrived at the scene, Martinez assaulted the officer by threatening him with a large wooden stick. A shotgun was seized from the residence after Martinez was subdued and taken into custody.
Martinez was indicted on May 24, 2017, and was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The indictment alleged that Martinez committed the crimes in April 2017, on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in Rio Arriba County, N.M. At the time, Martinez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior felony convictions for shooting at a dwelling, unlawful use of a firearm, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and discharging of a firearm during a crime of violence.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Martinez pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, Martinez admitted that on April 20, 2017, he unlawfully possessed a loaded firearm on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Martinez acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Martinez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s, Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Dimas.