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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Thirteen Years for Conviction on Federal Robbery and Firearms Charges

Gonzales Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Gilbert Gonzales, 34, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 156 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws.  The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Chief Gorden Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

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 APD officer found a firearm and ammunition in a vehicle Gonzales was driving during 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.

In April 2014, a federal grand jury filed a five-count superseding indictment charging Gonzales with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  According to the superseding indictment, Gonzales unlawfully possessed firearms in Bernalillo County on May 25, 2013 and June 5, 2013, and unlawfully possessed a stolen firearm on May 25, 2013.  It also charged Gonzales with interfering with interstate commerce by robbing a commercial business at gunpoint on May 29, 2013, and with brandishing a firearm at an employee of the business during the robbery.

On Jan. 27, 2015, Gonzales pled guilty to the armed robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce and to brandishing a firearm during that 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.

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.  The case was prosecuted by Assistants U.S. Attorneys David M. Walsh and Louis E. Valencia 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.

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Updated April 29, 2015