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Press Release

Sandoval County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Conspiracy and Commercial Robbery Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Cruz Abeita, 27, of Algodones, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to conspiracy and violating the Hobbs Act.  The charges arise out of the Dec. 30, 2016, robbery of the Dancing Eagle Travel Center in Cibola County, N.M.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Abeita will be sentenced within the range of 84 to 120 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


Abeita was arrested in Feb. 2017, on an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm on Feb. 4, 2016, in Cibola County.  According to the indictment, Abeita was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he was previously convicted of false imprisonment.


During today’s proceedings, Abeita pled guilty to a felony information charging him with conspiracy and violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce.  In entering the guilty plea, Abeita admitted that on Dec. 30, 2016, he entered the Dancing Eagle Travel Center in Cibola County, with an associate and demanded that the cashier give him money from the cash register, and threatened the cashier with an Airsoft replica pistol that appeared to be a real firearm.  Abeita 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 Laguna/Acoma Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and the Laguna Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 3, 2017

Violent Crime