DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Another Albuquerque Resident 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 – Julian Brown, 22, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.   
Brown 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.
Brown was arrested on Aug. 10, 2016, on an indictment charging him with distribution of heroin and possession of a firearm not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).  According to the indictment, Brown committed the offenses on July 11, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Brown pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with possession of an unregistered firearm.  In entering the guilty plea, Brown admitted that on July 11, 2016, he possessed and sold a weapon made from a shotgun not registered to him in the NFRTR.  At sentencing, Brown faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
To date, 25 of the 104 defendants, have entered guilty pleas and one has 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 Edward Han is prosecuting the case.
Phoenix Field Division