Skip to main content
Press Release

Roswell Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Firearms

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Harley Harkness, 40, of Roswell, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon in Las Cruces federal court to being a felon in possession of firearms.  Harkness entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Harkness was arrested on March 13, 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with unlawful possession of firearms and possession of a stolen firearm.  According to the criminal complaint, Harkness committed these offenses on Jan. 13, 2013.  At the time, Harkness was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of the following offenses in the 5th Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico:  residential burglary and tampering with evidence in Oct. 2001 and battery against a household member in Oct. 2003.

Court filings reflect that the federal charges against Harkness arose out of a domestic violence incident on Jan. 13, 2013.  On that day, Roswell Police Department officers responded to a domestic violence call from Harkness’s wife who reported that Harkness hit her and pointed a firearm at her.  When the officers executed a search warrant at the Harkness residence in Roswell, they found two loaded pistols and ammunition.

During today’s plea hearing, Harkness pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and admitted that he unlawfully possessed two pistols on Jan. 13, 2013, in Chaves County, N.M.  At sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Harkness faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  Harkness remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing.

This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Roswell Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated January 26, 2015