Mexican national pleads guilty to federal carjacking

US Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico, Mar. 25, 2022

ALBUQERQUE, N.M. – Gael Rodriguez, 20, of Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court on March 23 to an information charging him with carjacking. Rodriguez will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

Gael was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 12, 2021. According to the indictment and other court records, on Jan. 16, Rodriguez approached an elderly victim in northwest Albuquerque outside her apartment complex and asked her for a cigarette. The victim responded that she had no cigarettes and Rodriguez then demanded her purse and the keys for her vehicle. When the victim resisted, Rodriguez slashed her hand with a knife, causing her to drop the keys. Rodriguez grabbed the keys and fled in the victim’s vehicle.

An Albuquerque Police Officer was dispatched to the scene and relayed a description of the vehicle and Rodriguez to the Rio Rancho and Corrales police departments. Police were able to locate the vehicle in Corrales. After a pursuit on foot, police subdued and arrested Rodriguez.

Rodriguez faces up to 15 years in prison.

The FBI’s Albuquerque Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) investigated this case with assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department and the Corrales Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaymie L. Roybal is prosecuting the case.