Las Cruces man sentenced to 16 years for kidnapping and gun charges          

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 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Samuel Chavez, 61, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was sentenced in federal court today to 16 years and eight months in prison for kidnapping and firearms charges. Chavez pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2019.

According to public court records, on Oct. 18, 2017, Chavez arrived at the home of his first victim, from whom he demanded $250,000 at gunpoint. When the victim was unable to pay, Chavez tied the victim and forced him to call his grandson to lure him to the home. When the second victim arrived, Chavez knocked him unconscious, tied him, and demanded money at gunpoint when the victim regained consciousness.

Chavez then left the residence to make contact with a third victim and, again, demanded money. Chavez tied the third victim, but she was able to escape and called the police.

At the time Chavez committed the crimes, he was in possession of ammunition, a pistol with an obliterated serial number, an unregistered silencer, and an unregistered bulletproof vest. It is a federal crime to possess a firearm with an obliterated serial number or an unregistered silencer, and, as a previously convicted felon, Chavez could not legally possess a firearm, ammunition or body armor.

In addition to his term in prison, Chavez will be subject to five years of supervised release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Y. Armijo prosecuted the case.

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