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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

April 8, 2011

Kenneth Gonzalez, United States Attorney

Contact: Elizabeth Martinez, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Public Affairs Officer
(505) 224-1469

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Being an Armed Career Criminal

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, Charles Antonio Gutierrez, a 33-year-old Albuquerque resident, entered a guilty plea to being a career criminal in possession of firearms under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Gutierrez will receive a fifteen-year term of imprisonment when he is sentenced. Gutierrez has been in federal custody since June 30, 2010 and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Gutierrez was one of 32 defendants indicted on federal and state firearms offenses in June 2010 as part of Operation Jokerz Traderz, a long-term investigation designed to remove unlawfully possessed firearms from the streets of Albuquerque, and to target and prosecute felons in possession of such firearms. During the investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operated an undercover store-front in Albuquerque, also aptly named Jokerz Traderz. ATF operated Jokerz Traderz as a thrift store at 1309 San Mateo Blvd. NE. Undercover agents purchased a variety of firearms from a substantial number of individuals, most of whom were later arrested as part of the operation. In total, 230 firearms were removed from the streets of Albuquerque never to be used again for any unlawful purpose.

Gutierrez was charged with being a felon in possession of three firearms in an indictment that was filed on June 10, 2010. In his plea agreement, Gutierrez admitted that he sold the three firearms identified in the indictment to an undercover ATF agent on October 2, 2009. He also admitted that he was prohibited from possessing firearms at that time because he previously had been convicted of (1) cocaine trafficking and residential burglary, (2) aggravated burglary, armed after entry, and (3) residential burglary and battery on a peace officer in the Second Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico (Bernalillo County).

Assistant United States Attorney Lynn W.Y. Wang prosecuted the case, which was investigated by ATF.