DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth Martinez

Armed Career Criminal Faces Fifteen-Year Prison Sentence for Unlawful Possession of Firearm and Ammunition

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Marc Tapia, 45, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tapia will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison due to his status as an armed career criminal.
Tapia is 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.
Tapia was transferred from state custody to federal custody in Oct. 2014, to face charges in an indictment that was filed in Nov. 2012 and charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment alleged that Tapia unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition in Bernalillo County, N.M., in April 2012.   At the time, Tapia was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses, including aggravated battery resulting in serious bodily harm and possession of a controlled substance in the state courts of New Mexico, and rape and robbery in the state courts of California. 
During today’s change of plea hearing, Tapia admitted that on April 11, 2012, he was in possession of a firearm and ammunition when he had an encounter with law enforcement officers in the parking lot of a hotel in northeast Albuquerque.  Tapia acknowledged that at the time he was prohibited from possessing the firearms and ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
Tapia has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department.  Assistants U.S. Attorneys David M. Walsh and Kimberly A. Brawley are prosecuting this case. 

# # #

Phoenix Field Division