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Press Release

Lea County Felon Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Firearms and Ammunition

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lewis Templeton, 62, of Eunice, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 46 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for violating the federal firearms laws.


Templeton was arrested on May 4, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing an unregistered firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm on Nov. 3, 2015, in Lea County, N.M. According to the complaint, on Nov. 3, 2015, law enforcement officers found two rifles and ammunition while executing a search warrant at Templeton’s residence. A search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) confirmed that one of the firearms, a sawed-off rifle, was not registered with the NFRTR.


According to court documents, Templeton was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of a number of felony offenses. Templeton’s criminal history includes a conviction for conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.


On Sept. 26, 2016, Templeton pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. In entering the guilty plea, Templeton admitted that on Nov. 3 2015, he possessed two firearms and ammunition even though he was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.


This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis A. Martinez of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

Updated June 12, 2017

Firearms Offenses