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Justice News

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

Monday, February 5, 2018

Rio Rancho Felon Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearm and Ammunition

Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Cory G. Bates, 29, of Rio Rancho, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm. 

Bates, whose prior criminal history includes felony convictions for aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and cocaine trafficking, is being prosecuted under 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 primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.           

Bates was arrested in June 2016, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Jan. 9, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the indictment, Bates was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Bates pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Jan. 9, 2016, he possessed a firearm and ammunition despite his status as a convicted felon.  At sentencing, Bates faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  Bates 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 and Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated February 5, 2018