A man has been charged with distributing illegal drugs and possessing stolen weapons after allegedly selling undercover federal agents cocaine and firearms stolen from an Albuquerque gun store. The man was taken into custody following an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department.
Informant steps forward
The man’s alleged activities came to the attention of federal agents when an unidentified informant approached them in May. The informant, who told agents that he was a friend of the man, set up a series of meetings during which agents reportedly purchased more than a pound of cocaine and three handguns. The man is also said to have shown officers photographs of additional guns and hand grenades that he was willing to sell.
Gun store robbery
The weapons purchased from the man were reportedly traced to a West Side gun store that had been robbed during the early morning hours of June 1 in Downtown Albuquerque. The store lost 35 rifles and 135 handguns according to an ATF report. The store’s alarm system remained functional despite attempts to disable it, but APD officers were overwhelmed and not able to respond.
Federal drug charges
Federal gun and drug charges have severe penalties for those convicted, but U.S. attorneys may be willing to reduce the potential penalties significantly to avoid the risks of arguing in court. Experienced criminal defense attorneys might advise their clients to consider a negotiated plea agreement when the case against them is strong and their chances of being acquitted by a jury are slim.