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Friday, December 23, 2016

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 18 Years for Armed Robbery of Walmart Store



Defendant and Six Co-Defendants Prosecuted under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative

ALBUQUERQUE – Raymond Castillo, 27, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 18 years in prison for violating the Hobbs Act by participating in the armed robbery of a Walmart store in Albuquerque in Oct. 2014. Castillo will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Castillo was arrested on Dec. 12, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with conspiring to rob a business involved in interstate commerce at gunpoint in violation of the Hobbs Act. The criminal complaint charged Castillo and a co-conspirator with the armed robbery of convenience store located at 1111 Lomas Blvd. NW in Albuquerque on Dec. 7, 2014. The complaint further alleged that the co-conspirator, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana that covered his face, shot and injured the store clerk during the robbery, and that Castillo drove the co-conspirator away from the scene of the robbery.

On Jan. 21, 2015, Castillo and five co-defendants were charged with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws in a five-count indictment. Count 1 charged Castillo and five other Albuquerque residents, Reyes Lujan, 27, Daniel Maestas, 36, Johnny Ramirez, 31, Frank Gallegos, 31, and Henry Lujan, 23, with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act. Count 2 charged the six men with violating the Hobbs Act by robbing a Walmart Store in Bernalillo County, N.M., on Oct. 29, 2014. Count 3 charged Castillo with brandishing a firearm during the robbery of the Walmart store, and Count 4 charges Maestas with using and carrying a firearm during the robbery. Count 5 charged Ramirez, Gallegos, Reyes Lujan and Henry Lujan with aiding and abetting the use of firearms during the robbery.

The indictment was superseded in May 2015, by adding a new defendant, Reynaldo Marquez, 26, of Albuquerque, and two new counts. One of the new counts charged Castillo and Marquez with interfering with interstate commerce by robbing a 7-11 convenience store located in Bernalillo County on Dec. 7, 2014. The other charged Marquez with discharging a firearm during that robbery.

On Aug. 2, 2016, Castillo pled guilty to Count 2 of the third superseding indictment charging him with violating the Hobbs Act. In entering the guilty plea, Castillo admitted that on Oct. 29, 2014, he and his co-defendants robbed a Walmart store by threatening the Walmart employees with a firearm.

Castillo’s six co-defendants previously have entered guilty pleas. Reyes Lujan was sentenced on March 8, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, Gallegos was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, Ramirez was sentenced on Oct. 6, 2016, to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and Reynaldo Marquez was sentenced on Dec. 1, 2016, to 120 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. The two remaining co-defendants are in custody pending their sentencing hearings.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Cairns and Samuel A. Hurtado are prosecuting this case.

This case is being prosecuted under 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 criminal 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 rate, on a per capita basis, is one of 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, N.M., under this initiative.

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