Rio Rancho Man Charged with Five Federal Bank Robbery Offenses
ALBUQUERQUE – Today in federal court in Albuquerque, Adam Matthew Thomas Blanton, 36, was arraigned on an indictment charging him with five counts of armed bank robbery. Blanton entered a not guilty plea to the charges in the indictment. If convicted on any one of the five offenses charged in the indictment, Blanton faces up 25-years imprisonment, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. Blanton, dubbed the “Baby Blue Bandit,” is a resident of Rio Rancho. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on February 8, 2011 and will remain detained pending trial.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said Blanton was arrested on February 8, 2011 in the vicinity of a Walmart store shortly after the First Community Bank located at 1000 Commercial Drive SE in Rio Rancho, was robbed at gunpoint. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the First Commercial Bank was robbed by a male suspect who entered the Bank, brandished a handgun, and demanded money from the tellers. The suspect fled on foot after obtaining money from the tellers. Eyewitnesses provided a description of the suspect that was consistent with photographs taken by the Bank’s surveillance camera. Shortly thereafter, officers of the Rio Rancho Police Department observed a man fitting the suspect’s description in the vicinity of a nearby Walmart store. The officers took the man, identified as Blanton, into custody after they learned that he was in possession of a large sum of cash, a BB handgun that looked like a real handgun, and clothing that matched the description of the clothing worn by the suspect.
On March 9, 2011, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Blanton with five counts of armed bank robbery. Specifically, the indictment charges Blanton with robbing the First Community Bank located at 1000 Commercial Drive SE, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, at gun point on November 24, 2010 (Count 1), December 1, 2010 (Count 2) and February 8, 2011 (Count 5). It also charges Blanton with robbing the MyBank located at 6000 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, at gun point on December 20, 2010 (Count 3) and January 6, 2011 (Count 4).
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rio Rancho Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Cairns.
An indictment is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.