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Two Las Cruces Men Face Federal Firearms Charges

☷Two Las Cruces Men Face Federal Firearms Charges

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
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   ALBUQUERQUE , N . M . – Ruben Martha , 40 , of Las Cruces , New Mexico , appeared in federal court today facing a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition . Pablo Vargas , 50 , of Las Cruces made an initial appearance on April 28 facing the same charge . Vargas and Martha will remain in custody pending arraignment and detention hearings . A federal grand jury indicted Vargas and Martha on April 20 . According to the indictment and other court records , on April 17 , 2021 , Vargas was hosting a party at a home on Nevada Stree......t in Las Cruces , New Mexico . Martha , who lives down the street , was returning to his home along with his girlfriend and his adult daughter , who were in separate cars and slowed down as they navigated their way through the busy street . An angry exchange allegedly occurred during which an object was thrown at Martha’s car and a bottle was thrown through the open window of the car Martha’s daughter was driving . The daughter allegedly was struck by the bottle . After Martha reached his home , he received a call from a friend , whom Martha told what was happening . The friend arrived on the scene and gunfire allegedly erupted . The friend was struck and fled the scene . Martha allegedly retrieved a shotgun from a trashcan on his property as Vargas and others allegedly fired toward Martha’s residence . Martha allegedly chambered a round of ammunition in the shotgun , but was struck in the chest . Officers estimate that twenty to thirty rounds were fired during the confrontation . In 1997 , Vargas was convicted of shooting at or from a motor vehicle . Martha was convicted in 2000 of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal damage to property , and in 2007 of shooting at a dwelling , aggravated assault with a deadly weapon , and felon in possession . As previously convicted felons , neither Vargas nor Martha can legally possess firearms or ammunition . An indictment is only an allegation . A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty . If convicted , Vargas and Martha face up to 10 years in prison . The Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives investigated this case with assistance from the Las Cruces Police Department . Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Armijo and Christopher McNair are prosecuting the case . # # # Dallas Field Division


01 May 2022 ( May 01 2022 )



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Two Las Cruces Men Face Federal Firearms Charges
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