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Press Release

Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Grenade

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Keyton Wayne Lieber, 37, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to the unlawful possession of a destructive device.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Lieber was arrested on Jan. 21, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing a destructive device, an explosive grenade, on April 21, 2015, in Doña Ana County, N.M.  According to the complaint, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) officers found the grenade in Lieber’s residence while executing a search warrant.  Upon discovering the grenade, the NMSP Bomb Team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were contacted to safely dispose of the destructive device. 

During today’s proceedings, Lieber pled guilty to possessing a destructive device, which was not registered to him.  Court documents indicate that inquiry into the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) notified law enforcement that Lieber had no firearms or devices registered to him in the NFRTR.

At sentencing, Lieber faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  Lieber remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the ATF and the NMSP.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy M. Castellano of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 28, 2016