Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery of Walmart Store and Agrees to 18 Year Prison Sentence
Defendant and Six Co-Defendants Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Raymond Castillo, 27, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the Hobbs Act by participating in the armed robbery of a Walmart store in Albuquerque in Oct. 2014. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Castillo will be sentenced to 216 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Castillo was arrested on Dec. 12, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with conspiring to rob a business involved in interstate commerce at gunpoint in violation of the Hobbs Act. The criminal complaint charged Castillo and a co-conspirator with the armed robbery of convenience store located at 1111 Lomas Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on Dec. 7, 2014. The complaint further alleged that the co-conspirator, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana that covered his face, shot and injured the store clerk during the robbery, and that Castillo drove the co-conspirator away from the scene of the robbery.
On Jan. 21, 2015, Castillo and five co-defendants were charged with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws in a five-count indictment. Count 1 charged Castillo and five other Albuquerque residents, Reyes Lujan, 27, Daniel Maestas, 36, Johnny Ramirez, 30, Frank Gallegos, 31, and Henry Lujan, 23, with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act. Count 2 charged the six men with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a Walmart Store in Bernalillo County, N.M., on Oct. 29, 2014. Count 3 charged Castillo with brandishing a firearm during the robbery of the Walmart store, and Count 4 charges Maestas with using and carrying a firearm during the robbery. Count 5 charged Ramirez, Gallegos, Reyes Lujan and Henry Lujan with aiding and abetting the use of firearms during the robbery.
The indictment was superseded in May 2015, by adding a new defendant, Reynaldo Marquez, 26, of Albuquerque, and two new counts. One of the new counts charged Castillo and Marquez with interfering with interstate commerce by robbing a 7-11 convenience store located in Bernalillo County on Dec. 7, 2014. The other charged Marquez with discharging a firearm during that robbery.
On Oct. 19, 2015, Reyes Lujan entered a guilty plea, and was sentenced on March 8, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Gallegos, Ramirez and Maestas also have entered guilty pleas and have yet to be sentenced.
Marquez and Henry Lujan have entered pleas of not guilty to the superseding indictment. Charges in indictments are merely accusations, and all criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns and Samuel A. Hurtado are prosecuting this case.
This case is being prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this 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. In recognition that New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community has come together to is collaborating the initiative is significantly exceed the national average.