News and Press Releases

Carlsbad Man Sentenced to Almost Eleven Years in Federal
Prison for Robbing Businesses in Southeastern New Mexico

Defendant is One of Six Carlsbad Residents Prosecuted as
Part of the Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Maurice Williams, 35, of Carlsbad, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 130 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the Hobbs Act by robbing businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Williams also was ordered to pay $3,420.00 in restitution to the victims of his criminal conduct. 

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 5th Judicial District Attorney Janetta B. Hicks, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, Chief Kent Waller of the Carlsbad Police Department, Chief Don Raley of the Artesia Police Department, and Chief Chris McCall of the Hobbs Police Department.

Maurice Williams and five other Carlsbad residents, Bennie Juarez, 28, Logan Magby, 20, Mario Muro, 23, Rance Williams, 23, and Tyler Williams, 19, were charged with violating the Hobbs Act in a criminal complaint filed on May 29, 2013.  The criminal complaint charged the six men, acting in groups, with robbing the following five commercial businesses in southeastern New Mexico between Nov. 2012 and Jan. 2013: 

  • The Family Dollar located at 403 W. Quay Street in Artesia, N.M., by Juarez and Maurice Williams on Nov. 15, 2012.

  • The Shop-N-Go located at 22212 W. Lea Street in Carlsbad by Juarez and Rance Williams on Nov. 28, 2012.

  • The Family Dollar located at 901 W. Mermod Street in Carlsbad by Juarez and Maurice Williams on Dec. 2, 2012.

  • The Dollar General located at 730 N. Dal Paso in Hobbs, N.M., by Juarez, Rance Williams and Tyler Williams on Dec. 9, 2012.

  • The Domino’s Pizza located at 302 S. 1st Street in Artesia by Juarez, Muro, Magby and Tyler Williams on Jan. 6, 2013.

 

According to the criminal complaint, each of the aforementioned robberies was committed by perpetrators who wore masks or covered their faces with bandanas and brandished firearms at the store employees.

Maurice Williams entered a guilty plea on Sept. 10, 2013, to conspiracy to rob the Family Dollar in Artesia on Nov. 15, 2012, and conspiracy to rob the Family Dollar in Carlsbad on Dec. 2, 2012.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement. 

Maurice Williams’ five co-defendants have entered guilty pleas to Hobbs Act robberies as follows:

  • Juarez pled guilty on Aug. 20, 2013, to five counts of conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act by robbing each of the five businesses identified above. 

  • Magby pled guilty on Sept. 3, 2013, to conspiracy to rob the Domino’s Pizza in Artesia on Jan. 6, 2013. 

  • Muro pled guilty on Sept. 13, 2013, to conspiracy to rob the Domino’s Pizza in Artesia on Jan. 6, 2013. 

  • Rance Williams pled guilty on Sept. 10, 2013, to conspiracy to rob the Shop-N-Go in Carlsbad on Nov. 28, 2012, and conspiracy to rob the Dollar General in Carlsbad on Dec. 2, 2012. 

  • Tyler Williams pled guilty on Sept. 13, 2013, to conspiracy to rob the Dollar General in Hobbs on Dec. 9, 2012, and conspiracy to rob the Domino’s Pizza in Artesia on Jan. 6, 2013. 

 

The five co-defendants remain in custody pending sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, each faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

These cases were 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.

These cases were investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI, Carlsbad Police Department, Artesia Police Department and Hobbs Police Department, with assistance from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luis A. Martinez and Edwin Garreth Winstead III of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

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