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Justice News

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cochiti Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Robbery Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Marcelino Chalan, 27, of Cochiti Pueblo, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to bank robbery charges.

Chalan was arrested Sept. 16, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with robbing the Wells Fargo Bank branch inside the Albertson’s supermarket located at 3301 Southern Blvd. in Rio Rancho, N.M., on July 20, 2015.  The complaint alleged that Chalan robbed the bank by handing a handwritten note with a robbery demand to a bank teller.  The teller complied with Chalan’s written and verbal robbery demands and handed money over to Chalan.  Chalan left the scene in a vehicle that appeared to be driven another individual.  The investigation into Chalan began after the FBI received a tip identifying Chalan as the bank robber.

Chalan was subsequently indicted on Oct. 7, 2015, and charged with robbing the Wells Fargo Bank located at 3301 Southern Blvd. in Rio Rancho on July 20, 2015; robbing the First National Rio Grande Bank located at 7620 Jefferson St. in Albuquerque on July 27, 2015; and robbing the Santa Fe Federal Credit Union located at 7101 Jefferson St. in Albuquerque on Aug. 3, 2015. 

During today’s plea hearing, Chalan entered a guilty plea to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.  At sentencing, Chalan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  He remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the Rio Rancho Police Department, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Brawley is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 22, 2016