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Press Release

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Federal Prison for Robbing Five Businesses During Three-Month Crime Spree

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Julio Francia, 23, of Albuquerque, N. M., was sentenced this afternoon to 17.5 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for robbing five Albuquerque-area businesses and for carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.  Francia’s sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Chief Allen Banks of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Francia was arrested on state charges on Oct. 17, 2012, on allegations that he committed an armed robbery at a Subway Restaurant located at 8520 Montgomery Blvd. NE in Albuquerque.  After Francia admitted committing a number of armed robberies at commercial businesses in Albuquerque, including the Subway Restaurant, between Aug. 2012 and Oct. 2012, the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office charged Francia with numerous armed robbery offenses.

On Nov. 27, 2012, Francia was federally indicted and charged with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a business in interstate commerce and using a firearm during a crime of violence.  The charges in the indictment arose out of the armed robbery of the Subway Restaurant on Oct. 17, 2012.  On Feb 6, 2013, Francia was transferred from state custody to federal custody to face the charges in the federal indictment and the state charges against Francia subsequently were dismissed.

On May 22, 2013, Francia pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with a Hobbs Act robbery at the Subway Restaurant on Oct. 17, 2012, and using a firearm during a crime of violence on that same day.  Francia also entered a guilty plea to a four-count felony information charging him with committing Hobbs Act armed robberies at the following Albuquerque businesses: (1) the Auto Zone, located at 12904 Lomas Blvd., NE, on Aug. 15, 2012;  (2) the Auto Zone, located at 8820 Montgomery Blvd., NE, on Sept. 21, 2012; (3) the Taco Bell, located at 320 Eubank Blvd. NE, on Oct. 3, 2012; and (4) the Twister’s Restaurant, located at 740 Juan Tabo NE, on Oct. 4, 2012.

This case was brought as part of a law enforcement initiative launched in July 2012, by the FBI’s Violent Crimes and Major Offender Squad and the Albuquerque Police Department’s Armed Robbery Unit that targets suspects implicated in commercial armed robberies.  It is part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this anti-violence 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.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon K. Stanford.

Updated January 26, 2015