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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Robbing Businesses Engaged in Interstate Commerce

Defendant Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – David Savoy Thomas, 56, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced late yesterday afternoon in federal court to nine years in federal prison for violating the Hobbs Act by robbing and attempting to rob commercial businesses involved in interstate commerce.  Thomas will be on supervised release for three years following his term of incarceration.

Thomas was charged with four counts of violating the Hobbs Act by robbing and attempting to rob commercial businesses located in Bernalillo County, N.M., that were involved in interstate commerce, and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in a five-count indictment filed on Dec. 4, 2013.  Thomas was arrested on Dec. 30, 2013, after he was transferred from state custody to federal custody to face the charges in the federal indictment. 

Thomas proceeded to trial on March 30, 2015, which concluded on April 2, 2015, when the jury returned a verdict of guilty on the four Hobbs Act charges but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the firearms charge.  The evidence at trial established that Thomas robbed one business in May 2010 and three businesses in 2013. 

During the trial, APD officers testified that they responded to the scene of each of the four incidents and processed all available evidence, including fingerprints and surveillance videotape.  After the fourth incident in Oct. 2013, an APD officer learned that a fingerprint expert had identified Thomas’s fingerprints on the glass door of the restaurant that was robbed in May 2010, and started an investigation into Thomas.  After obtaining a photograph of Thomas and determining that Thomas matched the description of the man who robbed two Albuquerque businesses, the APD officer included Thomas’s photograph in a photo array of six men.  The clerks from the two stores positively identified Thomas as the man who attempted to rob the Family Dollar on Aug. 16, 2013 and the Check and Go on Oct. 19, 2013. 

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and APD with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns and Kimberly A. Brawley prosecuted the 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 primarily based on their prior felony convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.

Topic: 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated February 24, 2016