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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prior Felon from Roswell Sentenced to Nine Years for Conviction on Federal Firearms and Drug Trafficking Charges

Lariva Prosecuted as Part of Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

                
ALBUQUERQUE – Raymond Lariva, 31, of Roswell, N.M., was sentenced late yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 111 months (9.25 years) in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on firearms and drug trafficking charges.  The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 5th Judicial District Attorney Janetta B. Hicks, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Phil Smith of the Roswell Police Department.

Lariva was 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.

Court records reflect that Lariva was arrested in Roswell on state charges on Dec. 31, 2012, after he attempted to avoid capture on an outstanding state warrant.  On Oct. 15, 2013, Lariva was transferred to federal custody to face related federal charges in a criminal complaint that had been filed in Jan. 2013.  The state charges subsequently were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.

According to court filings, on Dec. 31, 2012, an officer of the Roswell Police Department came upon Lariva while responding to a call.  The officer, who recognized Lariva and was aware of a pending warrant for his arrest, attempted to make contact with Lariva.  Lariva took off running and a foot chase ensued.  During the chase, Lariva threw a small black pouch over his shoulder followed by a phone case, identification card and other items.  After Lariva was arrested, officers retrieved the black pouch which held numerous small baggies containing methamphetamine.  On Jan. 3, 2013, after reviewing recorded telephone calls made by Lariva while in state custody, officers found a loaded pistol and Lariva’s cellphone on the rooftop of a building in the area in which the pursuit had taken place.

Lariva was indicted on Jan. 15, 2014, and charged with (1) being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; (2) using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; and (3) possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  The indictment alleged that Lariva committed the offenses charged in Chaves County, N.M., on Dec. 31, 2012.  At the time, Lariva was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of robbery, possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit burglary, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On July 29, 2014, Lariva entered a guilty plea to the three-count indictment.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement. 

This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Roswell Police Department with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 26, 2015