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Press Release

Hobbs Man Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Federal Firearms Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Jeffrey C. Boshek II, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, announced today that Zachary Ray Gonzales was sentenced to 63 months in prison. Gonzales, 28, of Hobbs, pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm on July 10, 2023.

According to court records, on March 19, 2022, deputies from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on Gonzales for an arrest warrant for first-degree murder. Gonzales was arrested and the vehicle he had been driving was towed. Deputies secured a search warrant for the vehicle. During the resulting search, deputies located a handgun on the rear passenger side floorboard. Gonzales had multiple prior felony convictions. As a previously convicted felon, Gonzales could not possess a firearm or ammunition.

In 2023, Gonzales pled guilty to state charges of voluntary manslaughter, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison, which will run consecutive to the federal 63-month sentence.  Therefore, Gonzales will serve over 20 years in prison between his state and federal time. Upon his release from prison, Gonzales will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case with assistance from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ry Ellison is prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 29, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-38