U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
(505) 346-7274
January 27, 2015

Las Cruces Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

ALBUQUERQUE—Justin E. Clark, 22, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced today in Las Cruces federal court to 63 months in federal prison for violating the federal firearms laws. Clark will be on supervised release for three years after completing his term of incarceration.

Clark was arrested on April 22, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a machine gun, possession of a firearm by a drug addict, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and possession of a silencer. Clark has been in federal custody since his arrest.

On Sept. 3, 2014, Clark pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with being a drug addict in possession of a firearm, and unlawfully possessing a machinegun. In his plea agreement, Clark admitted that on April 18, 2014, he illegally purchased and possessed a fully automatic machinegun that had an obliterated serial number and silencer. Clark further admitted that he possessed the firearm at a time when he was addicted to crack cocaine.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the New Mexico HIDTA Regional Interagency Drug Task Force (RIDTF)/Metro Narcotics Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

The HIDTA Region VII Metro Narcotics Task Force is comprised of officers from the Las Cruces Police Department and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. HIDTA is a program of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) which provides assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States and seeks to reduce drug trafficking and production by facilitating coordinated law enforcement activities and information sharing.

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