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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Prior Felon from Los Lunas Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws

ALBUQUERQUE – Dennis Chavez, 30, of Los Lunas, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm.

Chavez was arrested on June 12, 2015, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of a stolen firearm.  The indictment alleged that Chavez committed the two crimes on Jan. 10, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  At the time, Chavez was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of aggravated assault on a peace officer.  According to court filings, Chavez was arrested after he shot himself in the leg while trying to evade law enforcement officers by tripping over a short fence as he attempted to shoot at the officers.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Chavez entered a guilty plea to the indictment and acknowledged unlawfully possessing a firearm even though he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony conviction.

At sentencing, Chavez faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.

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Updated May 25, 2016