Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Wells Fargo Bank Branch at Gunpoint in September 2013
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2014|
ALBUQUERQUE—Mariano H. Herrera, 59, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, pleaded guilty this morning to armed bank robbery and firearms charges and admitted robbing the Wells Fargo Bank branch located on 3401 Coors Blvd. NW in Albuquerque at gunpoint on September 20, 2013. Herrera entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Herrera was arrested on September 20, 2013, and charged in a criminal complaint with armed bank robbery. In October 2013, Herrera was indicted and charged with armed bank robbery and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
Court filings reflect that on September 20, 2013, a man wearing a ski mask entered the bank and drew a handgun from his pants. The masked man brandished the handgun at two bank tellers and demanded that they give him all their money. After the two tellers handed currency to the robber, he left the bank on foot and ran around the building where he got into a pickup truck. Two bank customers who followed the robber and watched him get into the truck called 911 and provided the truck’s license plate number.
Deputies of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office proceeded to Herrera’s residence, which was listed as the address for the registered owner of the truck. The deputies arrested Herrera after one of the bank customers positively identified him as the bank robber, having seen Herrera’s face as he pulled off the ski mask as he drove away from bank. Herrera then led the deputies to a toolbox that contained Herrera’s handgun and almost all the money Herrera stole from the bank.
Herrera has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Herrera faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the armed bank robbery conviction and a mandatory minimum seven years in prison on the firearms conviction, which must be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on the armed bank robbery charge.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque Field Office of the FBI and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.