Prior Felon from Carlsbad Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws
Admits to Igniting Fire that Destroyed the Quality Inn Hotel in Carlsbad
ALBUQUERQUE – Travis Hayslip, 36, of Carlsbad, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws under a plea agreement in which he admitted igniting the fire that destroyed the Quality Inn Hotel in Carlsbad on March 9, 2016. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Hayslip will be sentenced to 30 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Hayslip will also be required to pay $2.4 million in restitution to Choice Hotels for the damage he caused to the hotel.
Hayslip was arrested on March 31, 2016, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on a federal arson charge. According to the criminal complaint, on March 9, 2016, a fire was ignited and caused an estimated $2 million in damages to the Quality Inn, a hotel that was under construction at 4106 National Parks Highway in Carlsbad in Eddy County, N.M. The complaint alleges that Hayslip walked through a part of the hotel that was under construction and lit a piece of debris with a lighter. Hayslip was subsequently indicted on April 26, 2016, on the same charge.
During today’s proceedings, Hayslip pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. In entering the guilty plea, Hayslip admitted that on March 16, 2016, in Eddy County, he possessed a firearm despite his prior felony conviction for theft in Arizona. Hayslip also acknowledged that he was responsible for the arson that occurred on March 9, 2016, at Choice Hotels in Carlsbad, and is therefore liable for $2.4 million in restitution for the damage caused by the fire.
Hayslip remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
Special Agents from the Las Cruces office and the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and members of ATF’s National Response Team worked jointly with the Carlsbad Fire Department, the Carlsbad Police Department, the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Office of New Mexico Fire Marshal, the Office of the New Mexico State Fire Investigator, and Gilbert Police Department K9 Handler, to follow leads, investigate the fire scene, interview witnesses and suspects, and analyze available surveillance footage. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Lizarraga and John Balla of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case.