EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A convicted felon is facing federal charges after he allegedly took a parked car from a business, then tried to retake the vehicle at gunpoint when the owner located it on the side of a highway.
On Wednesday, A grand jury in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico accused Heriverto Anguiano of carjacking involving interstate commerce and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges stem from a July 4 break-in at a Las Cruces business from which several items and a parked 1994 Acura belonging to the business owner’s girlfriend were taken.
Court documents state the business owner called police while he and his girlfriend posted photos of the stolen Acura on social media. A web user stated seeing the vehicle parked along the shoulder of Interstate 25 near Hatch, New Mexico.
The couple and several acquaintances drove to the spot and found the vehicle. Court documents state the car held items not belonging to its owner, including a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, ammunition and documents from one Heriverto Anguiano.
The group called the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office; a deputy took the report, the gun and ammo, and everyone started to leave. As the business owner and two acquaintances following in a different vehicle made a U-turn to get into I-25 to return to Las Cruces, a man walked onto the highway raising his hands and yelling, “Hey, that’s my car!”
The Acura and the other vehicle stopped cold, and their occupants got off to approach the man. Court documents state the subject later identified as Anguiano pulled a small black pistol and pointed it at them. The business owner and his companions began to walk away. At the same time, Anguiano took the keys from the ignition and allegedly told them he would give them back in exchange for the personal items he had left in the car.
When told the .45-caliber, the ammo and the documents were gone, Angiano stated he would “take the car,” according to a federal criminal complaint.
A discussion ensued by the side of the highway in which Anguiano denied stealing the vehicle and allegedly continued to brandish the gun at the other parties.
The business owner retreated into the other vehicle and as Anguiano followed him, one of the businessman’s companions took the Acura’s keys and drove away, court records show. The business owner and his friend also took off while Anguiano was distracted, and they called police.
A New Mexico State Police officer arrested Anguiano but did not find a gun. A K-9 officer was brought in and located a Ruger 9mm pistol in the area, court records show. Anguiano allegedly told police he didn’t have any firearms and that a woman he only identified as “Janet” had sold him the car. Anguiano was unable to give the woman’s full name or contact information, records show.
In addition to the indictment, Anguiano is facing forfeiture of the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson, the 9mm Ruger and the ammo he said he does not own.
Anguiano was convicted in 2002 of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and in 2009 for aggravated battery.