Albuquerque, New Mexico - This morning in federal court in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Justin A. Wolaver, 27, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for robbing three banks, including a bank in Raton, New Mexico, in May 2011. Wolaver will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence. He also was ordered to pay full restitution to each of the three victim banks.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Wolaver pled guilty on July 27, 2012, to (1) the armed robbery of Bank of America in Hudson, Florida, on May 2, 2011; (2) the robbery of Chase Bank in Flagstaff, Arizona, on May 9, 2011; and (3) the armed robbery of the Bank of America in Raton on May 23, 2011.

Court records reflect that Wolaver was arrested after robbing the Bank of America in Raton at gunpoint on May 23, 2011. Wolaver walked into the bank, approached the bank teller, displayed what appeared to be a handgun, and verbally demanded money. After the bank teller provided cash to Wolaver, he fled in a small, white sedan. Officers of the Raton Police Department followed the sedan with lights and sirens as it left the bank. Officers of the New Mexico State Police and Colfax County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit when Wolaver tried to outrun the police. Wolaver was apprehended approximately 40 miles south of Raton. After his arrest, Wolaver confessed to robbing the Bank of America in Raton. He also confessed to robbing two other banks earlier that month.

Wolaver has been in federal custody since May 24, 2011. On July 27, 2012, Wolaver agreed to waive his right to be prosecuted in the judicial districts where he committed the out of state crimes and to plead guilty to the bank robberies in Florida and Arizona in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Field Office of the FBI, the Raton Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, and the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shammara H. Henderson.