An Albuquerque man is accused of buying 35 guns in the past several months — selling some to undercover federal agents while others ended up in the hands of a homicide suspect and a teenager at West Mesa High.
Marquez Martinez, 24, is charged with dealing firearms without a license and unlawful transfer and possession of a machine gun.
Martinez also reportedly sold several switches, which make guns fully automatic, to undercover agents, according to court records. Martinez told agents he bought and resold “hundreds” of guns over the past three years.
On Tuesday, a federal judge released Martinez to an Albuquerque halfway house until trial.
Martinez’s attorney could not be reached for comment Friday.
According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court:
The case started with an Instagram profile advertising guns for sale that fired fully automatic. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives linked Martinez to that account on Jan. 9.
The following day, a 14-year-old West Mesa student was found with two handguns in his waistband on school grounds. One of the guns had a “Glock switch” — making it capable of firing fully automatically — and had been bought by Martinez in November from a Rio Rancho gun store.
Agents the next day put a watch on Martinez that would alert authorities any time he tried to legally buy a gun. On Feb. 1, an undercover agent reached out to Martinez’s Instagram profile and asked to buy LSD.
Over the next few months an undercover agent met with Martinez five times, buying LSD, fentanyl pills, three guns and several Glock switches. At least one of those guns had been bought by Martinez in January at an Albuquerque gun store.
In that time frame, authorities also seized guns from others that had been originally, and legally, bought by Martinez.
- On March 2, a Texas State Trooper arrested an Albuquerque homicide suspect in El Paso. The trooper found a gun on the person that had been initially bough by Martinez in July 2022 at an Albuquerque gun store. When recovered, the gun had been modified with a Glock switch.
- On March 8, the Gun Violence Suppression Unit of the Albuquerque Police Department seized a gun during a traffic stop. The gun was initially bought by Martinez in January.
- On April 23, agents were alerted that Martinez had bought two handguns from an Albuquerque gun store.
Agents estimated Martinez bought 35 guns in the five months they were monitoring his purchases.
On May 11, agents raided Martinez’s home in the Uptown area and found 13 guns, a large amount of ammunition and magazines. Agents also found a gun box for nearly all of the guns, “indicating they were likely recently purchased.”
Martinez came home as agents were searching the property and agreed to speak to them. He reportedly told agents he had bought “hundreds” of guns since turning 21, buying at least 50 in the past six months.
“(Martinez) indicated he sells the firearms to support himself and stores them in his brother’s bedroom,” according to the complaint.