Prior Felon from Albuquerque Charged with Armed Bank Robbery and Violating the Federal Firearms Laws
Defendant Prosecuted Pursuant to Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE – Jason Blackwood, 43, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arraigned in federal court this morning on an indictment charging him with armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. During this morning’s proceedings, Blackwood entered a not guilty plea to the indictment. He remains in federal custody pending trial.
Blackwood was arrested on June 1, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with the armed bank robbery of the Bank of the West at 780 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE in Albuquerque on that day. The complaint alleged that Blackwood entered the bank, pointed a handgun at a bank teller, and demanded money. After the bank teller responded to Blackwood’s demand for money, Blackwood left the bank.
Blackwood was charged by indictment on June 30, 2016, with armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The indictment alleged that Blackwood committed the three crimes on June 1, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M. At the time, Blackwood was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of robbery and second degree commercial burglary.
If convicted, Blackwood faces a statutory maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the armed bank robbery charge and a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison for being a felon in possession. If convicted of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, Blackwood faces a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison, which must be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on other charges. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are mere accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers is prosecuting the case 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 primarily based on their prior 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 rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst 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 under this initiative.