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Ricardo Javier Garza, 41, of Carlsbad, pleaded guilty Monday morning in Las Cruces federal court to violating the federal firearms laws by unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Garza on May 4, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 5, 2014, in Eddy County. According to the complaint, law enforcement officers found a firearm and multiple rounds of ammunition in Garza’s residence after receiving a tip from Eddy County Crime Stoppers that Garza, a convicted felon, was in possession of stolen firearms.

Garza subsequently was indicted Sept. 13, 2017, and was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on March 5, 2014, in Eddy County. According to the indictment, Garza was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of aggravated burglary, larceny with a firearm, and receiving stolen property.

During Monday’s proceedings, Garza entered a guilty plea to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement. At sentencing, Garza faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.