Los Lunas man charged with federal firearms violation

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Russell Wheeler, 49, of Los Lunas, New Mexico, appeared in federal court today for a detention hearing, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Wheeler will remain in custody pending trial.

            According to a criminal complaint and other court records, in Los Lunas on May 22, Wheeler and another man allegedly argued briefly when Wheeler shot the victim in the face with a revolver. Wheeler allegedly fled the scene on a motorcycle, leaving the victim bleeding from his face and mouth. The victim was taken to an urgent care clinic and later to the University of New Mexico Hospital for treatment.

            Wheeler was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2005 and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement in 2007, both felonies. As a previously convicted felon, Wheeler cannot legally possess firearms or ammunition.

            A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Wheeler faces up to 10 years in prison

            The FBI Violent Crime Task Force investigated this case with assistance from the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Jaymie L. Roybal and Alexander Uballez are prosecuting the case.                                                                                                              

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