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HomeNewsCrimeCarlsbad hotel arsonist pleads guilty to firearms charges

Carlsbad hotel arsonist pleads guilty to firearms charges

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The arsonist in the March fire that destroyed a hotel under construction in Carlsbad pleaded guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces to violating federal firearms laws.

Travis Hayslip, 36, of Carlsbad, entered the plea as part of an agreement in which he admitted igniting the fire that destroyed the Quality Inn Hotel March 9, 2016, in Carlsbad.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hayslip will be sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He will also be required to pay $2.4 million in restitution to Choice Hotels for the damage caused to the under-construction building at 4106 National Parks Highway.

Hayslip was arrested March 31 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on a federal arson charge after allegedly walking through a portion of the hotel and lighting a piece of debris with a lighter. He was indicted April 26 on the same charge.

During today’s proceedings, Hayslip pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, admitting that on March 16, he was in possession of the weapon despite a prior felony conviction in Arizona. Hayslip also admitted to being responsible for the arson.

Hayslip remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Special agents from the Las Cruces Office and the Phoenix Field Division of the ATF and members of the ATF’s National Response Team worked jointly with the Carlsbad Fire Department, Carlsbad Police Department, Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, the Office of the New Mexico Fire Marshal, the Office of the New Mexico State Fire Investigator, and the Gilbert Police Department K9 handler to follow leads, investigate the scene, interview witnesses and suspects, and analyze surveillance footage over the course of this case.

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