DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Damon P. Martinez
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Grants Man Sentenced To Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Grenade

ALBUQUERQUE – Richard Valdez, 51, of Grants, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully possessing a destructive device.

Valdez was arrested on Jan. 7, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of an explosive on Dec. 13, 2015, in Cibola County, N.M.  According to the complaint, law enforcement officers found a M116A1 U.S. Military hand grenade simulator in Valdez’s vehicle during a traffic stop. 

Valdez was subsequently indicted on the same charge on Jan. 26, 2016.  According to court documents, Valdez was prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition or explosive materials due to his prior felony convictions, which include convictions for attempted distribution of a controlled substance, receiving stolen property, burglary, breaking and entering, receiving and transferring a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, and trafficking a controlled substance.

On Aug. 18, 2016, Valdez pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Dec. 13, 2015, law enforcement officers found a M116A1 U.S. Military grenade simulator in his vehicle.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Wishard prosecuted the case.


Phoenix Field Division