DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 25, 2018
John C. Anderson
, United States Attorney
Contact: Elizabeth M. Martinez

Roswell Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Carjacking and Firearms Charges

Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 100-Month Prison Sentence

ALBUQUERQUE – Nathan Cole Owens, 36, of Roswell, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to carjacking and firearms charges.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Owens will be sentenced to 100 months in federal prison followed by a period of supervised release to be determined by the court.


Owens, whose prior criminal history includes felony convictions for false imprisonment, aggravated battery against a household member resulting in great bodily harm, aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, is being 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 for federal prosecution violent or repeat offenders with the goal of making communities in New Mexico safer places for people to live and work.


Owens was arrested on April 5, 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 14, 2018.  According to the complaint, Roswell Police Department (RPD) officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at a cellular phone store in Roswell on March 14, 2018, reporting that an armed felon was in the store.  When RPD officers arrived, they found Owens and another individual (victim) who reported that Owens threatened her with a firearm, took the keys to her vehicle, and drove her around Roswell while he engaged in an argument with another person on her cellular telephone.  RPD officers subsequently found a firearm loaded with ammunition in the victim’s vehicle when they executed a state search warrant.  According to the complaint, Owens had been released from prison on Sept. 24, 2017, after serving a sentence for a prior felony conviction.


Owens was indicted on June 20, 2018, and was charged with carjacking, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  The indictment charged Owens with committing the offenses on March 14, 2018, in Chaves County, N.M.  Owens was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition on March 14, 2018, because of his previous felony convictions.


During today’s proceedings, Owens pled guilty to the three-count indictment and admitted that on March 14, 2018, he intentionally took a vehicle from another person while brandishing a firearm, and acknowledged that if the victim had not given him the vehicle, he would have caused the victim to suffer serious bodily injury.  Owens further admitted that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon. 


Owens 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 Roswell Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark A. Saltman and Marisa Ong are prosecuting the case.


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Phoenix Field Division