Previously Deported Mexican National Charged with Violating Federal Firearms Laws
ALBUQUERQUE – Juan Carlos Quezada-Lara, 31, a previously deported Mexican national illegally residing in Albuquerque, N.M., made his initial appearance today in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with violating federal firearms laws. Quezada-Lara remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for tomorrow.
Quezada-Lara is charged in a criminal complaint with being a drug addict in possession of a firearm and being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm on June 19, 2017, in Bernalillo County, N.M. According to the complaint, Quezada-Lara allegedly participated in a methamphetamine transaction with an undercover FBI agent in a parking lot in Albuquerque. Following the alleged transaction, Quezada-Lara fled from the scene in a vehicle and allegedly struck an FBI task force officer with his vehicle while attempting to evade arrest.
The criminal complaint further alleges that law enforcement agents located two firearms and ammunition in Quezada-Lara’s residence. According to court documents, Quezada-Lara is a Mexican citizen who has been deported from the United States on three prior occasions and is allegedly addicted to methamphetamine.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Quezada-Lara faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison each of the firearms charges. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department. Members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force including the New Mexico State Police, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and the New Mexico Corrections Department, assisted in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Letitia C. Simms is prosecuting the case.