Home News Local News Man from Carlsbad admits to kidnapping and firearm charges

Man from Carlsbad admits to kidnapping and firearm charges


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A convicted felon who held two children at gunpoint, forcing them into his vehicle in Carlsbad last year, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to kidnapping and firearm charges.


Richard Fierro, 43, of Carlsbad, accepted a plea agreement in Las Cruces federal court Tuesday afternoon recommending a sentence of 15 years in prison, followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

A criminal complaint filed in Eddy County Magistrate Court Oct. 31, 2016, consisted of 20 felony charges against Fierro, including two counts of kidnapping in the first degree, two first-degree counts of trafficking controlled substances, a fourth-degree count of possession of a controlled substance, a fourth-degree count of shooting at or from a motor vehicle and 14 fourth-degree counts of aggravated assault.

According to the Fierro’s criminal complaint, on Oct. 28, 2016, an 8- and 15-year-old child were walking to school on a Friday morning near Desert Willow Elementary in south Carlsbad. Fierro had threateningly aimed a firearm towards the children, forcing them to enter his vehicle.

Authorities said the children were able to escape after Fierro crashed his vehicle into an SUV.

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Fierro attempted to flee the scene after the crash, but was later apprehended by Carlsbad police officers.

Multiple witnesses near the scene told authorities Fierro had been trying to get kids into the vehicle with him; however, Fierro said he was being forced to kidnap the children in order to protect his daughter.

According to the complaint, Fierro had never contacted the two children before. In an interview, Fierro told law enforcement that he was given a note listing the names of the children he was supposed to kidnap.

In November 2016, Fierro was taken into custody after the kidnapping in Eddy County. According to a news release, the Carlsbad Police Department had completed an arrest warrant for Fierro.

Fierro’s complaint also said police had found a firearm, ammunition and marijuana in his vehicle.

After a warrant was obtained to search Fierro’s Carlsbad home, officers had seized ammunition and suspected quantities of cocaine and heroin. They also found drug paraphernalia.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Fierro was indicted in federal court Feb. 15, 2017, and charged with kidnapping two victims and with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in Eddy County.

“According to the indictment, Fierro was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted on cocaine trafficking, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute,” the Department of Justice stated. “During (Tuesday’s) proceedings, Fierro pleaded guilty to the indictment.

“In entering the guilty plea, Fierro admitted that on Oct. 28, 2016, he forced the two juvenile victims into his vehicle based on his mistaken belief that he needed to kidnap them to protect his daughter from harm.”

Fierro, a previously convicted felon, had admitted to possessing firearms and ammunition, as well kidnapping the two children.

The DOJ said Fierro remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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