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Helping a friend lands felon in prison

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — East Central drug dealer Marquis Pounds was just helping out a friend.

POUNDS

Marquis Pounds.

With six prior felony convictions for trafficking in cocaine, auto theft and embezzlement, Pounds should have known better than to hold on to a .357-caliber revolver for a buddy.

That decision cost him seven years in prison.

Last April, the Guns and Gold Pawn Shop on N.M. 47 near Los Lunas was burglarized. Twenty-one handguns, three shotguns and two rifles were stolen.

Typically, those guns would disappear into a black market, where they might surface years later in connection with a crime that police somewhere were trying to solve.

In the Guns and Gold Pawn Shop burglary, law enforcement caught a break. Ten days after the burglary, Raton police stopped a car driven by Stephen Bauer, who was driving on a suspended New York driver’s license.

Police towed Bauer’s car and, during an inventory search of the vehicle, found three of the stolen firearms. Bauer was kept in custody and his passengers released.

EDDINGS

Walter Eddings.

According to court records, Bauer said he helped a passenger in the car, Walter Eddings, break into the pawnshop while the second passenger, Amber Berisha, kept lookout.

Eddings and Berisha were then arrested.

Bauer told police and an agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives that, after the burglary, he kept two of the firearms and Eddings kept the rest, selling some of them.

Eddings then told the agent during an interview that he had given the firearms to a friend in Albuquerque, Marquis Pounds, to hold for him.

APD detectives and ATF agents began following Pounds around.

They watched as Pounds acted like someone selling drugs.

Pounds would stop his car on street corners. People would get in the car and leave a short time later. Pounds would drive to another part of the Southeast Heights and others would approach the car, get in and leave quickly.

Police eventually served a search warrant on a girlfriend’s apartment where Pounds appeared to be staying. They found heroin and methamphetamine. The girlfriend said the drugs were Pounds’ and, after some questioning, told them he had been carrying a gun from a pawnshop burglary.

They served another search warrant on a vacant apartment that Pounds was using on Wisconsin NE, two blocks north of East Central, and found the loaded .357 revolver in the oven.

During questioning, he was asked about the pistol. He said he got it from Eddings. Pounds added: “That was his biggest mistake, by helping out a friend.”

Pounds pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

Eddings has prior convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping.

He was also charged in a 2012 homicide on East Central, but the charges were dropped when prosecutors couldn’t get witnesses to cooperate.

Bauer, Eddings and Berisha have pleaded not guilty in federal court to the theft of the guns from the pawn shop. Their federal cases are pending.

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