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A man is facing 30 years in federal prison for firing a revolver through his front door – injuring an FBI agent – during a 2020 raid at his home in Northwest Albuquerque.
Derick Garcia, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault on a federal officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the Dec. 11 incident.
The agent was shot in the arm, and required surgery and hospitalization, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Garcia faces up to 20 years behind bars for the assault charge and up to 10 years for possessing a firearm.
Garcia’s attorney Hans Peter Erickson said his client didn’t know who was on the other side of that door, and he and his fiancée called 911.
Erickson said a doorbell camera showed the federal agents did announce themselves, but the pair did not hear them and the dispatcher couldn’t confirm who was outside.
“Mr. Garcia and his fiancée heard people trying to break down the door to their apartment and were terrified, as the recording of their 911 call makes clear,” Erickson said in a statement. He added, “Even for me, it was pretty scary to listen to.”
Court records show Garcia initially told authorities his fiancée shot through the door thinking someone was trying to break in.
In a plea agreement filed Tuesday, Garcia told a different story.
Garcia stated federal authorities came to his home in the 2700 block of 12th NW, north of Menaul, to serve a search warrant, according to court records. He said the officers knocked, announcing themselves as law enforcement and their purpose.
The plea agreement states Garcia was “acting alone” when he armed himself with a .357 magnum revolver and fired two shots through the front door. Garcia stated authorities found a second gun inside the home and dozens of rounds of ammunition.
Garcia acknowledged that a prior felony conviction for auto theft prohibited him from having firearms and ammunition.
In his statement, Erickson said Garcia’s actions were not “an appropriate response under the circumstances,” and he pleaded guilty to show his acceptance of responsibility.
“He is extremely grateful that the special agent was not more seriously injured and is genuinely regretful for the injury he did cause,” Erickson said.