Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Discharging Firearm During Robbery of Commercial Business
Prosecuted Under “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Raiff Harland Hayes, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty in federal court this morning to discharging a firearm during the robbery of a commercial business. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Hayes will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Hayes was arrested on Aug. 18, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws. According to the complaint, Hayes robbed ABQ Interlock, a business located at 2444 Menaul Blvd. NE in Albuquerque, on the afternoon of July 27, 2015. According to surveillance video, Hayes pointed a firearm at two employees, fired a shot into the ceiling, placed a bag on the counter, and demanded that the employees put cash into his bag. On July 28, 2015, one of the employees identified Hayes as the robber from a photo array. Thereafter Hayes was arrested on state charges that were later dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
Hayes was indicted on Sept. 10, 2015, and charged with violating the Hobbs Act and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence on July 27, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Hayes pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment and admitted discharging a firearm during the armed robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce. Hayes remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns is prosecuting the case under 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 primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible. Because New Mexico’s violent crime rate, on a per capita basis, is one of the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, N.M., under this initiative.