For Immediate Release
Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws
Defendant is One of 104 Individuals Federally Charged as a Result of ATF-Led Investigation Pursued in Support of Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Jorge Chacon, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Chacon was arrested during an ATF-led investigation that resulted in the filing of 59 federal indictments and one federal criminal complaint charging 104 Bernalillo County residents with federal firearms and narcotics trafficking offenses. The investigation began in mid-April 2016, when ATF personnel from throughout the country joined forces with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies in New Mexico to combat the high rate of violent crime in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The investigators utilized a number of investigative techniques, including undercover operations, historical investigation and targeting of multi-convicted felons in possession of firearms.
The investigation was undertaken in support of 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 collaborate with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
Chacon was charged in a seven-count indictment filed on June 30, 2016. The indictment charged Chacon with distributing methamphetamine, carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 16, 2016; being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 19, 2016; being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers on May 26, 2016. According to the indictment, Chacon committed the offenses in Bernalillo County. Chacon was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior felony convictions for burglary, aggravated battery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
During today’s proceedings, Chacon pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. In entering the guilty plea, Chacon admitted that on May 16, 2016, he carried a firearm in furtherance of the sale of methamphetamine. At sentencing, Chacon faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
To date, 27 of the 104 defendants have entered guilty pleas and two have been sentenced. The remaining defendants have entered not guilty pleas. Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns is prosecuting the case.