DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Albuquerque Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Attempted Carjacking, Robbery, and Firearm Possession

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joe Pacheco-Romero, 33, of Albuquerque was sentenced in federal court on Jan. 13 to 17 years and six months in prison for attempted carjacking, interference with commerce by threats or violence, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to his plea agreement, Romero admitted to robbing an Albuquerque business on Oct. 17, 2018. Soon after, Romero broke into a nearby residence and attempted to steal the homeowner’s vehicle at gunpoint. The victim was able to escape and Romero fled the residence. Romero then attempted to carjack another vehicle, firing several shots and hitting the vehicle multiple times. The two victims inside the vehicle were able to put the car in reverse and escape.

Immediately afterward, Romero entered a restaurant and attempted to rob a victim of his vehicle. When that attempt failed, Romero tried to rob a second victim of her vehicle. Suspecting a police officer was outside the restaurant, Romero directed a victim to call 911 and demand a getaway vehicle. Romero was soon apprehended by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) SWAT team. Romero was wounded by gunfire during the arrest.

Upon his release from prison, Pacheco-Romero will be subject to three years of supervised release.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Albuquerque Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito prosecuted the case.


Phoenix Field Division