Thoreau Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Unregistered Sawed-Off Shotgun
ALBUQUERQUE – Joe Herrera, Jr., 43, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Thoreau, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to unlawfully possessing a sawed-off shotgun that was not registered to him under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Herrera was indicted in Feb. 2013, on the charge to which he pleaded guilty this morning. According to the indictment, Herrera unlawfully possessed the unregistered sawed off shotgun on Aug. 16, 2011, in McKinley County, N.M. Herrera admitted committing the offense when he entered his guilty plea this morning.
At sentencing, Herrera faces a maximum possible penalty of ten years in federal prison. He remains on conditions of release under pretrial supervision pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson is prosecuting the case.