Prior Felon from Eunice Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws
Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Ramon Perez, Sr., 33, of Eunice, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating federal firearms laws. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Perez will be sentenced to 72 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Perez 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.
Perez was arrested on Nov. 17, 2014, on an indictment charging him with unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition on Dec. 31, 2013, in Lea County, N.M. At the time, Perez was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses including possession of cocaine, discharging a firearm, possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a controlled substance.
During today’s proceedings, Perez pled guilty to the indictment and admitted possessing three pistols, two of which had obliterated serial numbers, and multiple rounds of ammunition.
Perez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained 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, the Lea County Drug Task Force and the New Mexico State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy M. Castellano of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The Lea County Drug Task Force is comprised of officers from the Lea County Sheriff’s Office, Hobbs Police Department, Lovington Police Department, Eunice Police Department the Tatum Police Department and the Jal Police Department, and is part of the NM 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.