ALBUQUERQUE – Joaquin Romero, 30, of Taos, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 60 months in prison for his conviction on an armed bank robbery charge. Romero will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.
Romero was arrested on Jan. 13, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with robbing the People’s Bank located inside a supermarket at 710 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, in Taos on Jan. 10, 2016.
Romero was subsequently charged in a three-count indictment on Jan. 27, 2016, with armed bank robbery, brandishing and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. According to the indictment, Romero committed the crimes on Jan. 10, 2016, in Taos County, N.M. Romero was prohibited from possessing firearm or ammunition on Jan. 10, 2016, because of his prior felony conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
During today’s proceedings, Romero pled guilty to armed bank robbery. In entering the guilty plea, Romero admitted that on Jan. 10, 2016, he robbed the People’s Bank branch with a working shotgun by walking up to a bank teller’s window, “racking” his gun twice to make clear that he was robbing the bank through violence, shoved a bank customer aside, grabbed money from the bank teller’s counter and left the bank with money and the shotgun.
Romero 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 Taos Police Department and the Taos County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.