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Man faces charges for firearms, explosives

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Officers with the Roswell Police Department, New Mexico State Police bomb squad technicians and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stand outside a house in the 900 block of North Ohio Avenue Tuesday. (Alex Ross Photo)

A man alleged to have explosives in a house in Roswell made his first appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in federal court in Roswell Wednesday.

Joshua Daniel Vaughn, 31, of Roswell, faces charges of being a user of controlled substances illegally in possession of firearms and making explosive devices, according to a press release issued by the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.

Vaughn was ordered temporarily detained pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m in Las Cruces, according to court documents.

If convicted, Vaughn faces a statutory maximum of 10 years imprisonment on the firearms possession charge and a statutory maximum of 10 years imprisonment on the explosive devices charge.

Vaughn’s home in the 900 block of North Ohio Avenue was the subject of a search conducted by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Roswell police and bomb technicians with the New Mexico State Police Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Court documents state Roswell police first received a call Monday from a concerned citizen who observed a male loading multiple rifles into a 2006 silver Ford hatchback over the course of a few hours in front of the house.

The caller, according to court documents, expressed concern because he saw the man was wearing latex gloves and camouflage while loading the firearms into the vehicle, and was worried the man could be planning to execute an attack similar to one that occurred at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas Saturday.

A Roswell police officer later spotted a silver Ford hatchback registered to Vaughn. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle and the driver — later identified as Vaughn — was told to exit the vehicle with his hands raised, according to court documents.

Officers recovered two firearms that were on Vaughn’s person and he later informed officers that more firearms were in the vehicle. Vaughn stated he was taking the guns “to go shooting for practice.” He denied that he had any violent intent.

Marijuana was also found on Vaughn, who was later found to be a licensed medical marijuana user. ATF agents later told Vaughn he could not possess firearms because of his use of marijuana, a controlled substance.

According to court documents, a total of seven firearms were discovered on Vaughn’s person or in his vehicle: a .45-caliber Long Colt revolver, a 9 mm pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun, a Winchester rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun, a 7 mm Mauser rifle and a 9 mm rifle.

Vaughn was subsequently detained by police and questioned by ATF agents. During the questioning, Vaughn revealed that there were three additional firearms and improvised explosive devices at his house. He then told agents that he had looked up plans online for making explosive devices.

Vaughn was transported to the Chaves County Detention Center and held on federal firearms charges.

Bomb technicians with the New Mexico State Police identified numerous devices Monday night in Vaughn’s bedroom at a 900 block of North Ohio Avenue residence, according to court documents.

A protective sweep was then conducted of Vaughn’s residence, which was then sealed off until Tuesday morning, court documents state. A federal search warrant was then obtained for the residence and numerous explosive devices were found. The devices were then rendered safe by bomb technicians.

Three additional firearms — a 20-gauge shotgun, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle — and an assortment of bulk ammunition were also found at the house, according to court documents.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.