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Press Release


For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE – Joshua Daniel Vaughn, 31, of Roswell, N.M., made his initial appearance today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in federal court in Roswell on a criminal complaint charging him with being a user of controlled substances illegally in possession of firearms and making destructive explosive devices.  Vaughn was ordered temporarily detained pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, which have yet to be scheduled, but will be held in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M.

            The charges against Vaughn were announced by U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek III of the Dallas Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Roswell Police Chief Philip Smith, and New Mexico State Police Chief Tim Johnson.

            According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Vaughn was initiated on Aug. 5, 2019, after the Roswell Police Department (RPD) received a tip about a man, later identified as Vaughn, who allegedly was observed loading multiple firearms into a vehicle.  The tipster reportedly was concerned because the man allegedly was wearing latex gloves and camouflage.   Acting on the tip, RPD officers executed a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Vaughn.  During the traffic stop, the RPD officers allegedly recovered seven firearms from Vaughn and the vehicle, and verified with the New Mexico Department of Health that Vaughn was authorized to use medical marijuana.

            The criminal complaint alleges that on Aug. 5, 2019, officers from the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) Bomb Squad conducted a consensual search of Vaughn’s residence where they allegedly observed multiple explosive devices in a bedroom allegedly used by Vaughn.  On Aug. 6, 2019, ATF obtained a federal search warrant for Vaughn’s residence, which was executed by ATF and the NMSP Bomb Squad.  During the execution of the search, ATF and the NMSP Bomb Squad allegedly imaged multiple homemade improvised explosive devices, which they rendered safe.  The agents and officers also allegedly seized three more firearms and ammunition while executing the search warrant. 

            ATF arrested Vaughn on Aug. 5, 2019, following the traffic stop and execution of the consensual search at Vaughn’s residence. 

If convicted on the offenses in the criminal complaint, Vaughn faces a statutory maximum of ten years of imprisonment on the firearms possession charge, and a statutory maximum of ten years of imprisonment on the explosive devices charge.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

            The investigation of this case, which is continuing, is being handled by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Roswell Police Department, and the New Mexico State Police Bomb Squad.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Las Cruces is prosecuting the case. 

Updated August 7, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-125