Defendant Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Peter Pagan, 23, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to violating the Hobbs Act by attempting to rob an Albuquerque-area fast food restaurant and to discharging a firearm during the attempted robbery. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Pagan will be sentenced to 147 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Pagan was charged by criminal complaint in Oct. 2015, with discharging a firearm while attempting to rob the Blake’s Lotaburger located at 6215 San Antonio Dr. NE in Albuquerque on Jan. 27, 2015. According to the complaint, Pagan entered the restaurant, pointed a firearm at employees, and demanded money. When the employees were unable to open the cash register, Pagan shot a round of ammunition into the ceiling before running out of the restaurant. When a customer attempted to chase him down, Pagan allegedly fired nine rounds into the customer’s vehicle.
Pagan subsequently was indicted on Nov. 17, 2015, and charged with violating the Hobbs Act and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. According to the indictment, Pagan committed the crimes on Jan. 27, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Pagan pled guilty to the indictment. In entering the guilty plea, Pagan admitted that on Jan. 27, 2015, he entered a Blake’s Lotaburger armed with a loaded handgun and demanded money. Pagan further admitted firing a round into the ceiling of the restaurant when employees were unable to open the cash register.
State charges against Pagan were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution. Pagan has been in federal custody since his arrest on the federal complaint and remains detained, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul H. Spiers and Rumaldo R. Armijo are prosecuting the case.
This case is being prosecuted 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 for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible. In recognition that New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community has come together to is collaborating the initiative is significantly exceed the national average.