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             ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jacob Merkel, 22, of Albuquerque was sentenced in federal court to 13 years in prison for one count of interference with interstate commerce by robbery and violence and one count of using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to crime of violence, and possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of such crime. 

             Merkel previously pleaded guilty on Aug. 24. According to his plea agreement, Merkel admitted to traveling to Tobacco Town in Albuquerque with the intention of robbing it on Nov. 29, 2019. Merkel also admitted to wearing a black mask and a black hat and robbing the store at gunpoint. He fired a shot at the clerk while fleeing the building. Merkel and co-defendant, Vicente Perez 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; Merkel was arrested shortly afterward.

              Co-defendant, Vicente Perez was sentenced on Oct. 29 to six years in federal prison for his part in the crime.

              In addition to his prison sentence, Merkel will be subject to three years of supervised release.

              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.

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