Mexican national in court to face carjacking charge

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Man with gun approaching car. Stock Photo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jesus Manuel Castaneda-Villa, 31, of Mexico, made an initial appearance in federal court today, facing charges of carjacking and carrying, using, or possessing a firearm during, in relation to or in furtherance of a crime of violence. Castaneda-Villa remains in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for Jan. 26.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim allegedly met with Castaneda-Villa, her ex-boyfriend, in a hotel in Las Cruces. After the two began to argue, Castaneda-Villa allegedly threatened the victim and threw a toolbox at her. He allegedly demanded her car keys, then pointed a firearm at her and took her purse and cell phone as well. As Castaneda-Villa was going through her purse, the victim jumped from an open window, injuring herself. Castaneda-Villa then allegedly fled in the victim’s vehicle.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Castaneda-Villa faces a minimum of seven years and up to life in prison.

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The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State Police and District Attorney’s Office for the 3rd Judicial District of New Mexico. Assistant United States Attorney Marisa A. Ong is prosecuting the case.

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