Taos County Man Arrested on Federal Carjacking and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – A Taos County, N.M., man has been arrested on a federal indictment charging him with carjacking and firearms and carjacking offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas.
Richard Howieson, 56, of Costilla, N.M., was arrested without incident yesterday evening in Taos, N.M., on a three-count indictment charging him with carjacking, carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the indictment, Howieson committed the three crimes on Feb. 19, 2013, in Taos County, N.M. At the time, Howieson was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his felony conviction for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and great bodily injury.
Howieson will make his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on Oct. 11, 2016. He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
If convicted on the carjacking charge, Howieson faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Howieson also faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other two charges. Charges in indictments are merely accusations, and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney George Kraehe.