New Mexico Man Charged with Illegal Possession of Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Santa Fe, New Mexico, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

Isidro Ortega, age 62, was indicted on January 20, 2022.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on February 23, 2022, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charge stems from Ortega, a previously convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms, knowingly being in possession of a Jimenez Arms Incorporated, model J.A., .380 Auto caliber, semi-automatic pistol, in Rapid City in August 2021, which was found after Ortego came into contact with law enforcement.  The charge is merely an accusation and Ortega is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case.   

Ortego was detained pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.