ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Vicente Perez, 22, of Albuquerque, was sentenced on Oct. 29 in federal court to six years and three months in prison for robbery. Perez pleaded guilty on July 10. His accomplice, Jacob Merkel, pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 for his part in the crime.
According to his plea agreement, Perez admitted to driving Merkel to Tobacco Town, a business in Albuquerque, on Nov. 20, 2019, with the intent of robbing the business. Merkel robbed the store at gunpoint and fired a shot at the clerk while exiting the building. Perez and Merkel fled, but were identified and followed by Albuquerque Police. While Perez attempted to evade the police, a tire on his car blew out, disabling it, and Perez and Merkel fled on foot. Perez surrendered after a brief pursuit.
In addition to his prison sentence, Perez will be subject to three years of supervised release. Merkel remains in custody pending sentencing.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Albuquerque Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eva M. Fontanez prosecuted the case.