DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 8, 2017
James D. Tierney
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Albuquerque Felon Facing Federal Firearms Charges for Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition

Defendant will be Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Jaime Santiesteban, 36, of Albuquerque, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court this morning on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Santiesteban was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for Sept. 11, 2017. 
 
Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti, Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Gorden E. Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said that Santiesteban, whose prior criminal history includes eight prior felony convictions, will be prosecuted under a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” 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 with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
 
According to the criminal complaint, APD officers arrested Santiesteban in a residential neighborhood in the northeast heights of Albuquerque on Sept. 7, 2017, after Santiesteban allegedly discharged a firearm in the direction of an officer who was conducting surveillance in connection with an ongoing law enforcement operation.  Santiesteban allegedly fled from the scene of the shooting in a truck, which he later abandoned while continuing his flight by foot.  Officers who had received information regarding Santiesteban’s whereabouts from officers who were tracking his flight from a helicopter arrested Santiesteban shortly thereafter. 
 
During the investigation of this case, officers found an ammunition magazine in the truck allegedly abandoned by Santiesteban and a firearm that was missing a magazine in the backyard of a residence along Santiesteban’s alleged flight path.  According to the complaint, Santiesteban was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.  Court records reflect that Santiesteban has eight prior felony convictions, including four drug-related convictions, a firearms-related conviction, and a conviction for battery on a peace officer.
 
If convicted on the charge in the complaint, Santiesteban faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years of imprisonment.  If the court determines that Santiesteban should be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, he faces an enhanced sentence of not less than 15 years of imprisonment.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
 
This case was investigated by the ATF’s Albuquerque office and APD, and is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Brawley.
 
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Field Division: Phoenix Field Division