Silver City Felon Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Possessing Firearms
ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Scott Freeman, 42, of Silver City, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm. The firearms at issue allegedly were stolen during a home burglary in Grant County, N.M., in Aug. 2017.
The FBI arrested Freeman on May 31, 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms in Grant County. According to the criminal complaint, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) responded to a home burglary in Aug. 2017, during which a number of firearms were stolen from a large gun safe. In Oct. 2017, an individual reported purchasing two firearms and additional cylinders from Freeman. The individual subsequently surrendered the firearms and cylinders to the GCSO, suspecting that the firearms and cylinders were stolen. The serial numbers and descriptions of the firearms matched the serial numbers and descriptions of two of the firearms allegedly stolen during the Aug. 2017 home burglary.
Freeman subsequently was indicted on Aug. 22, 2018, and was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in Grant County. According to the indictment. Freeman was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition between Aug. 2017 and Oct. 2017, because of his prior convictions for unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, escape, and use of a phone to terrify, intimidate or threaten.
During today’s proceedings, Freeman pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that between Aug. 19, 2017, and Oct. 31, 2017, he possessed and sold two handguns and multiple extra cylinders to another individual in Grant County. Freeman acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
At sentencing, Freeman faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Freeman remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Silver City Police Department, New Mexico State Police and the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Ong of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting this case as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat 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 offenders with the goal of making communities in New Mexico safer places for people to live and work.