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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Twenty Years for Bank Robbery Spree in August 2016

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Chief of Police Michael Geier of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) announced today that Christopher James Baum, 37, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his conviction on federal bank robbery charges.  Baum will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.


Baum, whose criminal history included three prior bank robbery convictions, was prosecuted under 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 primarily based on their prior criminal convictions with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.


The FBI and APD arrested Baum in Aug. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with robbing four banks and attempting to rob a fifth bank in Bernalillo County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Baum committed the bank robberies between Aug. 16, 2016 and Aug. 24, 2016, by entering Albuquerque-area banks and demanding money from bank tellers.


On Nov. 3, 2016, Baum pled guilty to a felony information charging him with six counts of bank robbery.  In entering the guilty plea, Baum admitted the following criminal conduct:

  • Robbing the Bank of the West branch located at 5901 Menaul Blvd. NE on Aug. 16, 2016;
  • Robbing the Bank of the West branch located at 2101 Eubank Blvd. NE on Aug. 19, 2016;
  • Attempting to rob the Bank of Albuquerque branch located at 4201 Wyoming Blvd. NE on Aug. 23, 2016;
  • Robbing the Nusenda Credit Union branch located at 7517 Montgomery Blvd. NE on Aug. 23, 2016;
  • Robbing the Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 4700 Tramway Blvd. NE on Aug. 24, 2016; and
  • Robbing the Bank of the West branch located at 780 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE on Aug. 30, 2016.


Baum also admitted brandishing a pistol at a bank teller when he committed the Aug. 30, 2016 bank robbery. 


This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and APD and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Spindle.

Violent Crime
Updated January 3, 2018