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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

June 25, 2012

Kenneth J. Gonzales, United States Attorney

Contact: Elizabeth Martinez, Public Affairs Officer
(505) 224-1469

Fruitland, N.M. Man Receives 30-Month Prison Sentence for Unlawful Possession of Firearm

Albequerque — This morning, a federal judge sentenced Donovan Cortez, 34, to a 30-month term of imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cortez, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Fruitland, N.M., will be on supervised release for two years after completing his prison sentence.

Cortez was indicted on Sept. 14, 2011 and charged with (1) unlawfully possessing a firearm between March 27, 2010 and April 3, 2010, in San Juan County, N.M., and (2) possession of an unregistered firearm. At the time, Cortez was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of attempted aggravated assault on a peace officer in the Eleventh Judicial District Court of New Mexico in San Juan County. Cortez was arrested on October 7, 2011, and has been in federal custody since that time.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Cortez entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the indictment on March 26, 2012, under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Count 2 of the indictment, charging Cortez with possession of an unregistered firearm, was dismissed after Cortez was sentenced.

The case was investigated by the ATF and the FBI, and was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack E. Burkhead.