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Press Release

Prior Felon from Silver City Pleads Guilty to Violating the Federal Firearms Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Salvador Murillo Vasquez, 34, of Silver City, N.M., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Vasquez will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 6th Judicial Attorney Francesca Martinez-Estevez, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshal Conrad E. Candelaria for the District of New Mexico, and Cabinet Secretary Gregg Marcantel of the New Mexico Corrections Department.

Vasquez was arrested on Nov. 13, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Feb. 5, 2014, in Grant County, N.M.  According to the complaint, on that day, law enforcement officers searched Vasquez’s residence pursuant to the terms of his probation on a state conviction and seized a firearm and ammunition.  At the time, Vasquez had absconded from his state probation term.  In addition, Vasquez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of accessory to shooting from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily injury, burglary of a house and distribution of marijuana.  Vasquez was subsequently indicted on Feb. 18, 2015, and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Vasquez was arrested on the federal charge after the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office concluded state judicial proceedings relating to Vasquez’s violation of the terms of his state probationary terms.

During yesterday’s proceedings, Vasquez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with possession of a stolen firearm.  In entering the guilty plea, Vasquez admitted that on Feb. 5, 2014, in Grant County he possessed a firearm which he knew or had reasonable cause to believe was stolen.

Vasquez 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 and the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Probation and Parole Division of the New Mexico Corrections Department, with assistance from the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edwin Garreth Winstead, III, of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting this case 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.

Updated June 4, 2015