Fourth Guilty Plea Entered in New Mexico Federal Firearms Trafficking Case
Washington, DC --- United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that 25-year-old Ricardo Gutierrez of Columbus, NM, pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a firearms trafficking investigation.
Appearing this morning before United States Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of making false statements in the acquisition of firearms, and three counts of smuggling firearms from the United States.
As a result of his guilty plea, Gutierrez faces up to ten years in federal prison for each of the smuggling counts; up to five years in federal prison from the conspiracy charge as well as each of the false statement charges. Gutierrez is currently out on a $10,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Comandante Chihuahua State Police in Palomas, Mexico and the Secretariat of Public Security in Juarez, Mexico. The U.S. Marshal's Service, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police Department, El Paso Police Department as well as other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies also provided assistance during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by District of New Mexico Assistant United States Attorneys Nathan Lichvarcik and Michael Nammar.