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Press Release

Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for bank robberies in Española and Santa Fe

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

        ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Lester Padilla, 48, was sentenced in federal court on June 8 to 12 years and 7 months in prison for robbing three Wells Fargo Bank locations in Española and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Padilla pleaded to an indictment on Sept. 24, 2020.

        According to an indictment and other court records, on Sept. 9, 2019, Padilla entered a Wells Fargo Bank in Española and handed a teller a demand note that read, “Give me your loose cash or I’ll shoot you.” The teller handed money from the cash drawers and Padilla left the bank. Padilla walked to a nearby convenience store and solicited a ride.

        On September 24, 2019, Padilla entered a Wells Fargo Bank in Santa Fe and handed a demand note to a teller. The teller gave Padilla money and Padilla fled the bank. On Sept. 26, 2019, the FBI received a tip that Padilla had entered a pizza restaurant in Santa Fe and paper and requested a pen to write a note. Padilla then left the restaurant and walked to a third Wells Fargo Bank, where he once again handed a teller a demand note stating, “Give me the money or I will shoot you.”

         Upon his release from prison, Padilla will be subject to three years of supervised release.

         The Santa Fe Resident Agency of the Albuquerque Field Office of the FBI investigated the case with assistance from the Española Police Department and the Santa Fe Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eva Fontanez prosecuted the case.

Updated June 10, 2021

Press Release Number: 21-110