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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Prior Felon from Albuquerque Sentenced to Eight Years for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

Prosecution Brought Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Trinidad Gallegos, 47, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to eight years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on federal firearms charges, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Chief Gorden Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, III. 

Gallegos was arrested in July 2015, on an indictment charging him with assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Aug. 20, 2014, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  On that day, Gallegos was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.  Court records reflect that Gallegos has been convicted of possession of a controlled substance, possession and uttering of counterfeit obligations and securities, making false statement, larceny, forgery, conspiracy to commit unlawful taking of a vehicle, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

On Nov. 19, 2015, Gallegos pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Gallegos admitted that on Aug. 20, 2014, he possessed a shotgun and ammunition in a tow truck.  As he attempted to flee from law enforcement officers, Gallegos crashed the tow truck into a vehicle driven by a federal law enforcement officer.  Gallegos admitted that after colliding with the officer, he backed the tow truck down the street and crashed into another vehicle.  Gallegos then ran away and broke into homes as he attempted to evade arrest.  Gallegos acknowledged that as a convicted felon, he was not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque offices of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec prosecuted the case under a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rate, on a per capita basis, is one of the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, N.M., under this initiative.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 24, 2016