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Man pleads guilty to federal firearms charge


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A man found to be in possession of numerous firearms and explosive devices in August, during a search of his home and vehicle by federal agents, has pleaded guilty to one criminal charge as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Joshua Daniel Vaughn, 32, of Roswell, pleaded guilty to one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm as part of a plea agreement at a Jan. 15 hearing in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in Las Cruces, according to court documents.

Vaughn admits in the agreement that on Aug. 5, 2019 he was in possession of numerous firearms and ammunition, manufactured outside the state of New Mexico, found by law enforcement in his vehicle and in his 900 block of Ohio Avenue residence.

Sean Sullivan, Assistant U.S. Attorney and public information officer for the District of New Mexico, confirmed Tuesday Vaughn will not be prosecuted on one count of making a destructive device as part of the agreement.

Vaughn could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the firearms possession charge, along with a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release upon completion of any prison sentence and a special penalty assessment fee of $100, according to court documents.

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Federal prosecutors have not decided what penalty to ask for yet and a date has not been set for Vaughn’s sentencing. Sullivan said prosecutors will determine what sentence to ask for after reviewing the pre-sentencing report and other facts.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, along with Roswell Police Department and New Mexico State Police officers searched Vaughn’s home after a neighbor reported seeing a male wearing camouflage and latex gloves loading multiple firearms into a 2006 silver Ford hatchback on the night of Aug. 5.

A Roswell police officer later that night conducted a traffic stop on the silver Ford hatchback that Vaughn was driving. He was found to be in possession of a total of seven firearms on his person and in his vehicle, along with some marijuana.

As a licensed medical marijuana user, federal law prohibits Vaughn from possessing a firearm because marijuana is a controlled substance.

Vaughn initially told police he was taking the guns to “go shooting for practice.”

When later questioned by ATF agents, Vaughn said he had three additional firearms and improvised explosive devices in the house.

A federal search warrant was later obtained for Vaughn’s residence where the firearms, an assortment of bulk ammunition and improvised explosive devices were found.

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

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