ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that a federal jury on Oct. 25 returned a guilty verdict on Elias Gallegos. The jury convicted Gallegos, 27, of Albuquerque, of assaulting a federal officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon, a knife.
Gallegos assaulted a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier on Sept. 17, 2021, as the letter carrier was delivering mail on foot near the corner of Constitution Avenue NE and Monroe St. NE in Albuquerque. Gallegos brandished a knife at the letter carrier, chased him, and then threw a rock at him, which missed.
The letter carrier returned to his mail truck and called 911. As Albuquerque police responded to the scene and attempted to approach Gallegos, Gallegos fled on foot. Gallegos jumped several residential backyard fences before police contained him to a shed in the backyard of a residence on Manzano Street. When Gallegos attempted to approach the back door of the residence, officers apprehended him. During a search of the shed where Gallegos had been hiding, officers found a torch lighter and the pocketknife used in the assault.
“Letter carriers take pride in meeting their appointed rounds regardless of the wrath of the elements,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “Our responsibility is to ensure they remain unharmed by assailants as they carry out their duties. I want to thank our Assistant U.S. Attorneys whose hard work won this verdict, as well as our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Albuquerque Police Department for investigating this case.”
“The safety of our employees is critical to our mission. U.S. Postal Inspectors will continue to investigate all acts of violence against our employees and bring those who attack them to justice,” stated Melisa Llosa, Inspector in Charge of the USPIS Phoenix Division.
Gallegos will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled. He faces up to up to 20 years in prison.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Albuquerque Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Samuel A. Hurtado and Patrick Cordova are prosecuting the case.
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