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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

February 2, 2012

Kenneth J. Gonzales, United States Attorney

Contact: Elizabeth Martinez, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Public Affairs Officer

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

ALBUQUERQUE – This afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, Robert Hammons, 62, a resident of Albuquerque, NM, was sentenced to a 15-year term of imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hammons will be on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison sentence. Hammons was arrested on June 22, 2007 and has been in federal custody since that time.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Hammons was indicted on June 13, 2007 and charged with (1) felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; (2) possession of a stolen firearm. According to the indictment, Hammons was prohibited from possessing firearms because he had previously been convicted of robbery twice in the state courts of Oregon; false imprisonment and aggravated assault against a household member in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of New Mexico.

According to court records, Hammons was arrested by a U.S.D.A. Forest Service law enforcement officer on February 4, 2007, for possession of personal use methamphetamine. During a search incident to arrest, the officer found a firearm inside a locked box in Hammons’ vehicle. Hammons admitted that the firearm had been given to him by another person as part payment for methamphetamine.

On October 30, 2008, Hammons pled guilty to count 1 of the indictment, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sentencing was delayed after the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought an enhanced sentence for Hammons under the armed career criminal provisions of the federal felon in possession statute which requires imposition of a mandatory minimum 15 years of imprisonment, and Hammons objected to the application of that provision. In October 2010, a federal judge overruled Hammons’ objection and ruled that Hammons is a career criminal and therefore subject to the enhanced sentencing provision.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh.