Albuquerque man facing federal charges and first to be prosecuted under ‘Operation Legend’ in New Mexico

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of New Mexico reports that an Albuquerque man made an initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday after he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, the first individual to be prosecuted under “Operation Legend” in New Mexico. According to a press release from the state U.S. Attorney’s Office, 44-year-old Carlos Trevon Morris is facing a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A federal criminal complaint indicates the alleged crime took place in June, weeks before Operation Legend was formally announced. A federal criminal complaint indicates Albuquerque Police initially responded to and investigated the case.

APD officers responded to reports of shots fired at a southeast Albuquerque apartment complex on June 25. According to a criminal complaint, as officers approached the location on foot, they saw Morris who allegedly was attempting to put an unconscious man into the front seat of a vehicle.

As officers shined their flashlights on Morris, they saw what appeared to be blood on Morris’ pants, arms, and shirt. Police say the victim’s motionless body was underneath Morris. The complaint goes on to state that officer saw a bottle of bleach next to the vehicle and arrested Morris.

Police stated in the complaint that officers saw a blood trail from where Morris and the body were located and followed the trail to an apartment walkway where they found bullet casings and could smell bleach. Morris also allegedly had a handgun in his left pocket.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue arrived at the scene and determined the victim was deceased. APD Homicide detectives took over the case. The federal criminal complaint states that on July 16, 2020, an agent with the ATF was contacted by an APD Homicide detective to state that Morris was a convicted felon who has previous convictions including aggravated assault against a household member and drug trafficking.

Due to Morris’ alleged possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and status as a previously convicted felon, federal prosecutors are pursuing federal firearms charges against Morris. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Morris is currently in custody and awaiting a detention hearing on July 31. If convicted on the federal charge, Morris faces up to 10 years in prison.

The Albuquerque Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Outler is prosecuting the case. President Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced the deployment of federal agents in Albuquerque under “Operation Legend” on July 22, 2020.

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