For Immediate Release
Las Cruces Felon Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws
ALBUQUERQUE – Edward Hartley, 37, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the federal firearms laws by being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
Hartley was arrested on June 27, 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on June 8, 2018, in Dona Ana County, N.M. According to the complaint, Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) officers responded to a weapons call at a residence in Las Cruces that an individual allegedly pointed a gun at a female and a child. When the LCPD officers arrived at the scene, they observed Hartley walking down the street, and after seeing the LCPD officers, Hartley attempted to flee the area and was seen throwing a firearm into the front yard of a residence. Officers subsequently located a handgun magazine loaded with ammunition and a loaded firearm in front yards near the area where Hartley was running.
According to the criminal complaint, Hartley, who was then under state indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm or destructive device, had multiple prior felony convictions including convictions for second degree murder, drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his prior felony convictions.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Hartley pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, Hartley admitted that on June 8, 2018, he fled from LCPD officers, and during his flight, discarded a firearm. Hartley acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
At sentencing, Hartley faces a 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis A. Martinez is prosecuting the case.