Los Alamos Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery and Fleeing from an Immigration Checkpoint

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Anthony P. Chavez, 32, of Los Alamos, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging him with bank robbery and high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint.

In entering his guilty plea, Chavez admitted robbing the Wells Fargo Bank branch at 5555 Montgomery Blvd. NE in Albuquerque June 29, 2013, and engaging in a high-speed flight while trying to evade the Interstate 10 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Deming the following day.

Court records reflect the bank was robbed shortly after noon June 29, 2013 by two men—one of whom approached the bank tellers with a demand note and the other who remained near the door as a lookout. The demand note claimed that there were two others involved in the robbery and that the robbers were armed. After the tellers complied with the robber’s demand for cash, the robber and his lookout fled from the bank.

Shortly before 6 a.m. June 30, 2013, Chavez sought to evade the Interstate 10 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Deming by driving his vehicle at speeds up to 110 miles per hour. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and New Mexico State Police officers pursued and stopped Chavez’s vehicle after a 10-minute pursuit and arrested Chavez for the felony offense of high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint.

While being placed in a CBP vehicle, Chavez spontaneously stated that he had robbed a bank the day before. After viewing surveillance camera photographs of the bank robber who approached the tellers with the demand note, CBP agents determined that Chavez was one of the two individuals who robbed the Wells Fargo Bank branch in Albuquerque the day before.

Chavez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending sentencing. At sentencing, Chavez faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the two charges to which he pleaded guilty.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI; Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector; and the New Mexico State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Barth.