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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 7, 2017

Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Robbery Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Abel Lopez, 31, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court to bank robbery charges. His plea agreement includes a recommendation that Lopez be sentenced within the range of 27 to 33 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

 

Lopez and co-defendants William Colbert, 38, and Joleen Sedillo, 42, both of Albuquerque, were arrested in July 2016, on a criminal complaint charging them with bank robbery offenses. According to the criminal complaint, Sedillo, Lopez and Colbert robbed Bank of the West branches located at 5401 Central Ave. NE and 7900 Wyoming Blvd. NE on June 22, 2016 and June 27, 2016, respectively, and attempted to rob the Bank of the West branch located at 5228 Central Ave. SW on July 14, 2016.

 

Sedillo, Lopez and Colbert were indicted on Aug. 10, 2016, and charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery in June and July 2016; bank robbery on June 22, 2016 and June 27, 2016; and attempted bank robbery on July 14, 2016. According to the indictment, the three defendants committed the crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M.

 

During this morning’s proceedings, Lopez pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and to aiding and abetting an attempted bank robbery. In entering the guilty plea, Lopez admitted accompanying his co-defendants to the Bank of the West branches they planned to rob. Lopez further admitted that on July 14, 2016, he entered a Bank of the West branch to check for security, then communicated an “all clear” to a co-defendant so that the co-defendant could rob the bank.

 

On April 5, 2017, Colbert pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and to aiding and abetting an attempted bank robbery. In entering the guilty plea, Colbert admitted accompanying Sedillo and Lopez to the Bank of the West branches they planned to rob. Colbert further admitted that on July 14, 2016, he entered a Bank of the West branch while disguised with the intent to commit a robbery but left without obtaining any money. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Colbert will be sentenced within the range of 41 to 51 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

 

On March 28, 2017, Sedillo pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank robbery and to aiding and abetting an attempted bank robbery. In entering the guilty plea, Sedillo admitted driving Lopez and Colbert to the Bank of the West branches they planned to rob. Sedillo further admitted that on July 14, 2016, she drove her co-defendants away from a branch of Bank of the West branch that Colbert attempted to rob. She also admitted concealing the clothing Colbert wore during the attempted robbery. Under the terms of her plea agreement, Sedillo will be sentenced within the range of 27 to 33 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 10, 2017