Las Cruces Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
ALBUQUERQUE—George Arthur Manzanares, 44, of Las Cruces, N.M. was sentenced this morning in Las Cruces federal court to 96 months in federal prison for violating the federal firearms laws. Manzanares will be on supervised release for three years after completing his term of incarceration.
Manzanares was arrested in Mar. 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The complaint alleged that Manzanares unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition from Sept. 30, 2011 through Dec. 5, 2011, in Doña Ana County, N.M. At the time, Manzanares was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of several felony offenses, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and trafficking a controlled substance. In Sept. 2013, Manzanares was indicted and charged with three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On April 9, 2014, Manzanares entered a guilty plea to the three-count indictment and admitted unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition on Sept. 30, 2011, Oct. 19, 2011, and Dec. 5, 2011. In his plea agreement, Manzanares admitted selling firearms and ammunition to an undercover agent on each of the three dates.
This case was investigated by the Southern New Mexico Gang Task Force of the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office prosecuted the case.
The case was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets the “worst of the worst” 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 violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.