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Press Release

Jury Convicts Felon Of Conspiracy To Commit Interference With Commerce By Robbery, Attempted Interference With Commerce By Robbery, Discharge Of A Firearm During A Crime Of Violence And Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

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

RENO, Nev. – After a six-day trial, a federal jury found Eric Romero-Lobato, 39, guilty of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm related to a March 4, 2018 attempted robbery of a restaurant in Sparks, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.

United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks presided over the trial and scheduled a sentencing hearing on March 31, 2020. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Romero-Lobato, armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, attempted to rob a Restaurant in Sparks, Nevada with another man.  During the attempted robbery, he fired a shot inside the restaurant. Romero-Lobato was not apprehended until May 14, 2018, when police responded to a report of an armed carjacking in Reno.  Romero-Lobato led the police on a high speed chase before wrecking the car he stole. When police apprehended Romero-Lobato, they recovered a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.  Through forensics, the firearm was determined to be the same firearm discharged in the robbery attempt. The attempted robbery case was investigated by the Sparks Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Earlier, in July 2019, a separate jury found Romero-Lobato guilty of one count of carjacking, one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm for the May 14, 2018 carjacking incident.

Romero-Lobato is in custody and is awaiting a jury trial on a separate indictment, which charges that Romero-Lobato is not a United States citizen and illegally reentered the United States.  The case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Rachow and Penelope Brady prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide program by the Department of Justice that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, the Department announced the reinvigoration of PSN. For more information about PSN, visit



Updated November 21, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime