Prior Felon from Carlsbad Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms and Narcotics Laws
Christopher Reza Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Christopher O. Reza, 33, of Carlsbad, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in Las Cruces federal court to firearms and methamphetamine trafficking offenses under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Reza is being prosecuted as part of 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 for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
Reza was arrested on May 19, 2014, based on a criminal complaint charging him with unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition and using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. According to the criminal complaint, officers seized numerous weapons and ammunition as well as methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana when they executed a search warrant at Reza’s residence in Carlsbad on Jan. 28, 2014. At the time, Reza was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses including shooting at an inhabited dwelling, shooting from a motor vehicle, aggravated battery on a peace officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, breaking and entering, forgery and identity theft.
During today’s proceeding, Reza pled guilty to a three-count felony information charging him with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In his plea agreement, Reza admitted possessing ammunition on Sept. 8, 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M., and possessing 24 firearms and ammunition on Jan. 29, 2014, in Eddy County, N.M. He also admitted possessing 5.92 grams of pure methamphetamine on Jan. 29, 2014.
Reza has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Reza will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Carlsbad Police Department, the Artesia Police Department and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gould is prosecuting this case.
The Pecos Valley Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department and Artesia Police Department and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.