DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 24, 2017
James D. Tierney, Acting
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

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

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Joe Ray Alires, 42, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced yesterday in federal court to180 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition, announced Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney and Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Alires was charged by an indictment filed on Nov. 19, 2014, with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition on June 26, 2014, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  Alires was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.  According to the indictment, on June 26, 2014, Alires had at least ten felony convictions, convictions for residential and commercial burglary, possession of a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a deadly weapon or explosive by a prisoner.
On March 9, 2017, Alires pled guilty to the indictment under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and admitted to possessing a loaded pistol on June 26, 2014, despite his status as a convicted felon. 
This case was investigated by the ATF office in Albuquerque and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh 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 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.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rate, on a per capita basis, is one of the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat and violent offenders, primarily based on their prior convictions, from counties with the highest violent crime rates including Bernalillo County under this initiative. 
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Phoenix Field Division