Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Texas

For Immediate Release

August 1, 2011

John E. Murphy, United States Attorney

Contact: Daryl Fields, Public Information Officer
(210) 384-7440

Blas Gutierrez Enters Guilty Plea in New Mexico Federal Firearms Trafficking Case

United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that 30-year-old Blas Gutierrez of Columbus, NM, pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a firearms trafficking investigation.

Appearing this morning before United States Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, 17 counts of making false statements in the acquisition of firearms, and 19 counts of smuggling firearms from the United States.

As a result of his guilty plea, Gutierrez faces up to ten years in federal prison for each of the smuggling counts; up to five years in federal prison from the conspiracy charge as well as each of the false statement charges. Gutierrez remains in federal custody pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Comandante Chihuahua State Police in Palomas, Mexico and the Secretariat of Public Security in Juarez, Mexico. The U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police Department, El Paso Police Department as well as other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies also provided assistance during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Greg McDonald and Steven Spitzer.