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Roswell woman pleads guilty to multiple charges

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A 32-year-old Roswell woman pled guilty Monday in federal court in Las Cruces to violating federal firearms laws by being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Martinez

Valarie Martinez was arrested in February on a criminal complaint charging her with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Jan. 16 in Chaves County. According to the complaint, Roswell Police Department (RPD) officers arrested Martinez after locating a bag containing a firearm and ammunition that Martinez discarded while fleeing from the scene of a suspected breaking and entering of a dwelling. Martinez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of her prior felony convictions.

Martinez told authorities that she and her boyfriend entered a house in the 1200 block of Auburn Drive. Martinez and her boyfriend were confronted by the homeowner’s son. They fled the scene when the homeowner’s son called police. Martinez was apprehended but her boyfriend got away.

Martinez told authorities that a blue bag they recovered in a dumpster behind the house on Auburn Drive belonged to her boyfriend. Martinez said she placed the bag in the dumpster while fleeing from police.

During Monday’s proceedings, Martinez pled guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, she admitted that on Jan. 16 she was in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and acknowledged that she was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of her status as a convicted felon.

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At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. She remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the RPD and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brock E. Taylor and Richard C. Williams of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.