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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 71 Months in Prison for Being a Lookout During Armed Robbery of Convenience Store

Defendant and Five Co-Defendants Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Johnny Ramirez, 33, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 71 months in prison for violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce.  Ramirez will be on supervised release for three years following his prison sentence. 

Ramirez and five other Albuquerque residents were charged in Jan. 2015, with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws in a five-count indictment.  Count 1 charged Raymond Castillo, 27, Reyes Lujan, 27, Daniel Maestas, 36, Frank Gallegos, 31, and Henry Lujan, 23, with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act.  Count 2 charged the six men with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a Walmart Store in Bernalillo County, N.M., on Oct. 29, 2014.  Count 3 charged Castillo with brandishing a firearm during the robbery of the Walmart store, and Count 4 charges Maestas with using and carrying a firearm during the robbery.  Count 5 charged Ramirez, Gallegos, Reyes Lujan and Henry Lujan with aiding and abetting the use of firearms during the robbery. 

A seven-count superseding indictment was filed on May 28, 2015, charging the original six defendants and adding Reynaldo Marquez, 26, as a new defendant and two new counts.  The two new charges in the superseding indictment charged Marquez and Castillo with interfering with interstate commerce by robbing a 7-11 convenience store located in Bernalillo County, N.M., on Dec. 7, 2014, and Marquez with discharging a firearm during the robbery of the 7-11 convenience store on Dec. 7, 2015.

On June 16, 2016, Ramirez pled guilty to Count 2 of the superseding indictment charging him with aiding and abetting an interference with interstate commerce.  In entering the guilty plea, Ramirez admitted that on Oct. 29, 2014, he acted  as a lookout for the armed robbery of the Walmart located at 400 Eubank NE in Albuquerque.

Ramirez’ six co-defendants previously have entered guilty pleas.  Reyes Lujan was sentenced on March 8, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and Gallegos was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.  The four remaining co-defendants are in custody pending their sentencing hearings.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns and Samuel A. Hurtado 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. In recognition that New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community has come together to is collaborating the initiative is significantly exceed the national average. 

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated October 6, 2016