Las Cruces man sentenced for kidnapping, gun charges


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The District of New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that 61-year-old Samuel Chavez of Las Cruces was sentenced in federal court to 16 years and eight months on Tuesday, Sept. 29 or kidnapping and firearms charges. Chavez pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2019.

According to public court records, on Oct. 18, 2017, Chavez went to the home of his first victim dressed in a wig and a fake beard and demanded $250,000 at gunpoint. When the victim was unable to pay him, Chavez tied the victim up and forced him to call his grandson to lure him to the residence.

When the second victim arrived, Chavez knocked him unconscious, tied him up, and demanded money at gunpoint when he regained consciousness. Chavez then left the residence to demand money from a third victim.

Though Chavez tied up the third victim, she was able to escape and call the police. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports at the time of the crimes, Chavez was in possession of ammunition, a pistol with a removed serial number, an unregistered silencer, and an unregistered bulletproof vest.

As a previously convicted felon, Chavez couldn’t legally possess a firearm, ammunition, or body armor. Additionally, it is a federal crime to have a firearm without a serial number or an unregistered silencer.

Chavez will also be subject to five years of supervised release in addition to his term in prison. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated this case while Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo prosecuted the case.

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