For Immediate Release
Carlsbad Felon Sentenced to 15 Years for Conviction on Federal Kidnapping and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Richard Fierro, 43, of Carlsbad, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 15 years of imprisonment for his conviction on kidnapping and firearms charges. Fierro will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence. U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge John J. Durastanti of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Shane Skinner of the Carlsbad Police Department (CPD) announced the sentence.
Fierro was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat 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 offenders with the goal of making communities in New Mexico safer places for people to live and work.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Fierro in Nov. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating the federal firearms laws on Oct. 28, 2016, in Carlsbad, in Eddy County, N.M. According to the complaint, Fierro forced two children into his vehicle at gunpoint, crashed the vehicle, and attempted to flee the scene before CPD officers arrested him. Officers found a firearm, ammunition, and marijuana in Fierro’s vehicle during a search incident to the arrest.
Fierro was indicted on Feb. 15, 2017, and was charged with kidnapping two victims, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Oct. 28, 2016, in Eddy County. According to the indictment, Fierro was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted on cocaine trafficking, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute.
On Oct. 17, 2017, Fierro pled guilty to the indictment. In entering the guilty plea, Fierro admitted that on Oct. 28, 2016, he forced the two juveniles into his vehicle based on the belief that he needed to kidnap them in order to protect his daughter from harm. He later realized that this was not true. Fierro admitted driving around Carlsbad with the two kidnapped victims until he crashed into another vehicle and fled the scene. Fierro also admitted possessing a firearm and ammunition during the kidnapping even though he was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to his status as a convicted felon.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Carlsbad Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark A. Saltman of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.