Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal Firearms Laws
ALBUQUERQUE – Darrel Salazar, 48, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to brandishing a firearm during an attempted armed bank robbery. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and Chief Gorden E. Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
Salazar was arrested on Jan. 12, 2016, by the FBI on a criminal complaint charging him with attempted bank robbery. According to the complaint, on Jan. 11, 2016, Salazar attempted unsuccessfully to rob the branch of the Bank of America located at 3101 Carlisle Blvd. NE in Albuquerque. The criminal complaint alleged that, Salazar entered the bank where he allegedly passed a note demanding cash to a bank teller and brandished a firearm at the teller in an effort to rob the bank. Salazar left the bank without obtaining any cash and was apprehended shortly thereafter in the vicinity of a nearby convenience store by APD officers.
Salazar was subsequently indicted on Feb. 9, 2016, and charged with robbing the Wells Fargo Bank located at 5555 Montgomery Blvd., on Jan. 11, 2016; the attempted bank robbery of the Bank of America located at 3101 Carlisle Blvd. on Jan. 11, 2016, and brandishing a firearm during the attempted bank robbery of the Bank of America on Jan. 11, 2016. According to the indictment, Salazar committed the crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Salazar pled guilty to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. In entering the guilty plea, Salazar admitted that on Jan. 11, 2016, he entered the Bank of America on 3101 Carlisle Blvd. in Albuquerque, armed with a firearm. Salazar further admitted that he approached the bank teller, passed a handwritten note demanding money and brandished a firearm at the teller when the teller failed to comply with his demand.
At sentencing, Salazar faces a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years and a maximum of life in prison. Salazar remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and APD. Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Walsh is prosecuting the case.