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Roswell man gets 10-year prison sentence


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A Roswell man with a long criminal history and methamphetamine addiction who threatened to shoot his girlfriend before a police standoff two years ago was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 10 years in prison on firearms charges.


Michael Dalton, 34, was also sentenced in federal court in Las Cruces to three years of supervised release following his 120-month prison sentence for unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition.
On June 7, 2016, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Dalton, who has seven prior felony convictions, on a federal criminal complaint. Dalton had been transferred to federal custody from state custody, where he had been detained on state charges. The state charges subsequently were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
The criminal complaint charged Dalton with illegally possessing firearms and ammunition on Aug. 28, 2015, in Chaves County.
Dalton was indicted on the same charge on June 30, 2016. The indictment was superseded on Oct. 25, to add a second offense charging Dalton with being a drug addict unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition.
According to court documents, Dalton was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he had prior felony convictions for burglary, breaking and entering, forgery, aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, possessing burglary tools, tampering with evidence, larceny and possession of a controlled substance.

Dalton proceeded to trial on the two-count superseding indictment on Jan. 23, 2017. The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning a guilty verdict on both counts on Jan. 25, 2017.
The evidence at trial established that on Aug. 28, 2015, officers of the Roswell Police Department responded to Dalton’s residence in response to a call from Dalton’s neighbor.
The neighbor testified that she called the police after hearing Dalton threaten to shoot his girlfriend in the head during a fight between the couple that occurred outside Dalton’s residence. The neighbor also testified that Dalton attempted to run over his girlfriend with his car before going into his residence with his 3-year-old child. The neighbor then heard gunshots coming from Dalton’s residence.
Dalton barricaded himself in his residence, requiring a SWAT team to be dispatched to coax Dalton out of the residence. After an hour-long standoff, Dalton came out of the residence and he was identified as a convicted felon, leading the officers to obtain a search warrant for his residence. While executing the search warrant, the officers seized two rifles, a handgun and approximately 240 rounds of ammunition from Dalton’s residence.
The evidence at trial also established that in addition to being a convicted felon, Dalton was a methamphetamine addict.
Dalton 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 incarcerating repeat offenders for as long as possible.
The case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the ATF and the Roswell Police Department.

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