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Justice News

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

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lea County Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Firearms and Ammunition

ALBUQUERQUE – Lewis Templeton, 62, of Eunice, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 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 convictions for aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and sexual penetration, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

During today’s proceedings, 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.

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

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 is prosecuting the case.

Firearms Offenses
Updated September 26, 2016