DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth Martinez

Armed Career Criminal from Albuquerque Sentenced to Fifteen Years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

Turrieta Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Paul Anthony Turrieta, 36, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Turrieta received an enhanced sentence due to his status as an armed career criminal. He will be on supervised release for [three] years after completing his prison sentence.

Turrieta was being prosecuted as part 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 work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Turrieta was arrested in Feb. 2014, on an indictment charging him with unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition on Oct. 24, 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M. According to court filings, Turrieta was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses, including three residential burglaries.

On Oct. 27, 2014, Turrieta pled guilty to the indictment and admitted possessing a revolver and ammunition which were discovered in the vehicle he was driving when an officer pulled him over on a traffic stop on Oct. 24, 2013. Turrieta acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing the firearm or ammunition because he was a convicted felon.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano A. Torrez prosecuted the case.

Phoenix Field Division