Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Albuquerque Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Armed Robbery Spree of Albuquerque-Area Businesses in Summer of 2014
Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Jose Rodriguez, 23, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court for violating the Hobbs Act and firearms laws by robbing eight businesses involved in interstate commerce at gunpoint. Rodriguez was sentenced to ten years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari E. Brandenburg, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Chief Gorden Eden, Jr., of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Rodriguez was charged in March 2015, in a four-count indictment alleging that he robbed two Albuquerque-area businesses that were engaged in interstate commerce. It further alleged that Rodriguez brandished firearms during each of the two robberies. Rodriguez was arrested on April 22, 2015, after he was transferred to federal custody from state custody where he was being held on related state charges which were later dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
Rodriguez entered a guilty plea on October 1, 2015, to a nine-count felony information charging him with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws. The first eight counts of the information charged Rodriguez with interfering with interstate commerce by robbing the following eight businesses between June 2014 and Aug. 2014:
Papa John’s Pizza on Gibson Blvd. SE in Albuquerque on June 29, 2014;
Twisters on Gibson Blvd SW in Albuquerque on July 5, 2014;
Flowers Bakery on Gibson Blvd. SE in Albuquerque on July 14, 2014;
Pump-N-Save gas station on Menaul Blvd. NE in Albuquerque on July 17, 2014;
Krispy Kreme on Wyoming Blvd NE in Albuquerque on July 30, 2014;
M&M Gas Station on Coors Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on Aug. 5, 2014;
Phillips 66 Gas Station on Coors Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on Aug. 6, 2014;
Church’s Chicken on Central Ave NW in Albuquerque on Aug. 7, 2014.
The ninth count of the information charged Rodriguez with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, specifically, the robbery of the Church’s Chicken on Aug. 7, 2014. In addition, in his plea agreement, Rodriguez admitted that he used a firearm, which he brandished at employees of the businesses he robbed, during seven of the eight robberies.
According to court filings, Rodriguez is addicted to heroin and claimed that he robbed people at gunpoint to feed his addiction.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Jon Ganjei Rodriguez 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 primarily based on their prior felony convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible. Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.