Fourth and final defendant sentenced in 2010 bank robbery

CNJ Staff

The fourth and final defendant was sentenced Monday for his involvement in the April 2010 bank robbery in Melrose, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler.  All four were Tucumcari residents.

Marcos Maestas, 23, was dealt a 12-year prison sentence after being convicted in June of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to Chandler.

According to police, Maestas, Patrick Quintana, Juana Griego and Santos Preciado, all of Tucumcari,  robbed the American Heritage Bank in April 2010.

Marcos Maestas

Marcos Maestas

Griego, Preciado and Quintana pled guilty to their roles in the bank robbery. Griego is serving a five year sentence, while Preciado and Quintana are serving 12-year sentences.

“This robbery was a very traumatic experience for the bank employees, as one can only imagine the fear in the victims’ minds when this armed crew rushed in the bank,” Chandler said in the release.

Maestas’ attorney, Jennifer Burrill, argued before the trial that her client was mentally retarded and not competent to stand trial. The state ruled Maestas competent.

According to police, Quintana and Preciado, armed with a handgun and a machete, entered the bank and demanded money from several bank tellers. The suspects left the bank with nearly $30,000 in cash, while the bank manager notified authorities.

Quintana testified on behalf of Maestas during the trial and said Maestas’ only role in the robbery was to stand at the door with a baseball bat and keep people from entering — accomplished with a handwritten, misspelled note written on the back of a Spider-Man comic book.

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