Federal Grand Jury Files Superseding Indictment Charging Andrew Steven Romero with New Offenses Arising Out of Armed Robberies in April and May 2015
Romero Prosecuted Pursuant to Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment that adds new charges against Andrew Steven Romero, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., which arise out of the armed robberies of two Albuquerque-area businesses involved in interstate commerce.
The filing of the superseding indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel L. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Chief Gorden Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
Romero initially was charged with violating the federal firearms laws in a criminal complaint filed on May 29, 2015. The complaint alleged that Romero unlawfully possessed a firearm and ammunition on May 25 and May 26, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M. At the time, Romero was prohibited from possessing either firearms or ammunition because he previously has been convicted of multiple felony offenses, including voluntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a destructive device by a felon, heroin trafficking, and receiving or transferring a motor vehicle.
On June 9, 2015, a federal grand jury filed a one-count indictment charging Romero with being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 25, 2015, in Bernalillo County. The superseding indictment adds four new counts to the original indictment. Two of the new counts charge Romero with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing two businesses engaged in interstate commerce. The other two new counts charge Romero with brandishing firearms during crimes of violence.
According to the superseding indictment, Romero allegedly committed the armed robbery of the CVS Pharmacy located at 7900 Central Avenue in Albuquerque on April 6, 2015. It also alleges that Romero committed the armed robbery of the Giant convenience store and gas station located at 924 Rio Grande Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on May 26, 2015. Romero allegedly brandished firearms at employees of the two businesses during the two armed robberies.
Romero was arrested on May 26, 2015, on related State charges and is currently in State custody. He will be transferred to federal custody to answer to the federal superseding indictment.
Romero faces up to ten years in federal prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. If the court determines that Romero is an armed career criminal, he faces an enhanced sentence of a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison to a maximum of life imprisonment on that charge. Romero also faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each of the two Hobbs Act charges. If convicted of brandishing firearms during the robberies, Romero faces a mandatory minimum of seven years for the April 2015 robbery and a mandatory minimum of 25 years for the May 2015 robbery; these sentences must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the felon in possession charge and the Hobbs Act charges.
Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Brawley and Jon K. Stanford are prosecuting the federal case, which was investigated by a multi-jurisdictional team that includes the Albuquerque offices of the FBI and ATF, APD and the Multi-Agency Officer Involved Shooting Task Force, which is comprised of officers from APD the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police and the Rio Rancho Police Department. The 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation of the federal case.
Romero 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 for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.