DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 21, 2015
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney

Convicted Felon from Albuquerque Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Possession of Firearm

Case Prosecuted as Part of “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Charles Hodge, 42, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Hodge entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Hodge was arrested in Nov. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition on Oct. 28, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the complaint, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on Hodge’s vehicle because his vehicle had an expired registration tag.  During the stop, the officers learned that Hodge did not have a valid driver’s license or insurance, and advised Hodge that they would have to impound the vehicle.  In response to questions regarding whether his vehicle contained any contraband, Hodge told the officers that he had a firearm and ammunition in the vehicle.  Thereafter, the officers retrieved a loaded pistol from the center console of the vehicle.

Hodge was subsequently indicted for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition on Dec. 2, 2015.  Hodge was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses, including second degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, auto burglary and possession of cocaine. 

During today’s proceedings, Hodge pled guilty to the indictment.  At sentencing Hodge faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a 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.  Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe is prosecuting the case.

The case 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 primarily based on prior 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 rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.

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15-655

Field Division: Phoenix Field Division