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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 26, 2018

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Twelve Years for Brandishing Short-Barreled Shotgun During Armed Robbery of Convenience Store

ALBUQUERQUE – William L. Thrash, 51, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 144 months in prison for violating the federal firearms laws by brandishing a short-barreled shotgun during the armed robbery of an Albuquerque-area convenience store in March 2017.  Thrash will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Thrash in Sept. 2017, on a criminal complaint.  The criminal complaint charged Thrash with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing two businesses engaged in interstate commerce at gunpoint, brandishing a firearm during crimes of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  According to the criminal complaint, Thrash committed one of the Hobbs Act robberies by robbing an Albuquerque-area convenience store on March 14, 2017, and the second robbery by robbing a medical marijuana dispensary located in Bernalillo County, N.M., on April 15, 2017. 

 On April 19, 2017, officers of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) arrested Thrash on state charges, which have since been dismissed in favor of federal prosecution, while executing a state search warrant at a hotel room in which Thrash was residing.  During the search, the officers seized a firearm and ammunition.  At the time, Thrash was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted on numerous felony offenses, including being a felon in possession of a firearm, auto burglary, escape, child abuse or abandonment, battery on a peace officer, and possession of a deadly weapon or an explosive by a prisoner.  

On Dec. 13, 2017, Thrash pled guilty to a felony information charging him with using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  In entering the guilty plea, Thrash admitted brandishing a short-barreled shotgun at store employees when he robbed an Albuquerque-area convenience store on March 14, 2017. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and APD, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Kraehe as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat 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 for federal prosecution violent or repeat offenders with the goal of removing them from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 26, 2018