Socorro man sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of a firearm

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Albuquerque
Christopher Heath, 29, of Socorro, was sentenced April 17 to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice on April 18.

Heath’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales; Thomas G. Atteberry, special agent in charge of the Phoenix division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Chief George Van Winkle of the Socorro Police Department.

Heath was arrested in July 2012 on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The indictment alleged that Heath unlawfully had a firearm in Socorro County on April 2, 2012. According to the indictment, at that time, Heath was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because he previously had been convicted of possession of a controlled substance and aggravated assault upon a peace officer in the 7th Judicial District Court for the state of New Mexico.

Court records reflect that Heath was arrested based on investigation conducted by officers of the Socorro Police Department when they executed a search warrant at his residence. Records also reveal that in addition to the two convictions identified in the indictment, Heath also has felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In December 2012, Heath pleaded guilty to the indictment and admitted to possessing a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition on April 2, 2012, in Socorro County.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Socorro Police Department, with assistance from the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for the of the state of New Mexico.