News and Press Releases

Beclabito, N.M., Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for
Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – Joel Rodriguez, 37, a Cuban refugee who resides of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon to ten years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his Hobbs Act robbery conviction.

Rodriguez was arrested in Nov. 2011 in a two-count indictment charging him with (1) violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce, and (2) being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The indictment charged Rodriguez with robbing a business engaged in payday and short term loans at gunpoint on May 17, 2011.  At the time, Rodriguez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of three felony offenses in the Second Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico, including trafficking in controlled substances and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.   

Rodriguez pleaded guilty on June 6, 2013, to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with a Hobbs Act robbery at a Check ‘n Go, located at 2810 Coors Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on May 17, 2011.   In entering his guilty plea, Rodriguez admitted entering the business, threatening an employee with violence, and demanding money.

This case was brought as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this anti-violence initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

            The case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon K. Stanford.

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