Federal jury convicts man of robbing Albuquerque supermarket

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            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A federal jury returned a guilty verdict on Dec. 1 in the trial of Jesse Barela, 35, of Albuquerque. Barela will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

            A grand jury indicted Jesse Barela and his brother, Julian Barela, 50, on Sept 10, 2020, charging them with interference with commerce by threats and violence.  Julian Barela pleaded guilty on Oct. 6.

            According to the indictment and other court records, on November 26, 2019, the two men entered an Alberton’s Supermarket in Albuquerque and filled a shopping cart with hundreds of dollars in goods. They then proceeded to the exit without paying. When a store employee attempted to stop them, Jesse Barela brandished what appeared to be a firearm while Julian Barela struck the employee several times with a baton.

            Jesse Barela faces up to 20 years in prison.

            The FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department investigated this case as part of the FBI Violent Crime and Gangs Task Force. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico is prosecuting the case.

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