Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Commercial Robbery and Firearms Charges
Gonzales Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Gilbert Gonzales, 34, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty today to violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Gonzales will be sentenced to 156 months (13 years) in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Gonzales was arrested in June 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition on May 25, 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M. According to the criminal complaint, an officer of the Albuquerque Police Department found a firearm and ammunition in a vehicle Gonzales was driving following a routine traffic stop. At the time, Gonzales was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of numerous felony offenses in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico.
Gonzales subsequently was indicted in April 2014, in a five-count superseding indictment charging him with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a stolen firearm, one count of commercial robbery , and using and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The indictment alleged that Gonzales unlawfully possessed firearms in Bernalillo County on May 25, 2013 and June 5, 2013. It further alleged that he possessed a stolen firearm on May 25, 2013. It also alleged that Gonzales interfered with interstate commerce by robbing a commercial business at gunpoint on May 29, 2013, and brandishing a firearm at an employee of the business during the robbery.
During today’s proceedings, Gonzales pled guilty to the armed robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce and to brandishing a firearm during the robbery. In his plea agreement, Gonzales admitted that on May 29, 2013, he obstructed interstate commerce by robbing Southwest Communications, located at 120 San Pedro SE in Albuquerque. Gonzales further admitted brandishing a firearm at an employee of that business during the armed robbery.
Gonzales has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistants U.S. Attorneys David M. Walsh and Louis E. Valencia 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.