Farmington man arraigned in federal court in bank robbery

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The 22-year-old Kirtland man arrested last week in connection to Wednesday's bank robbery told FBI agents he used a portion of the stolen money to make a down payment on a vehicle, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Monday.

Richard Buckner was charged Friday in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico with bank robbery, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Buckner is accused of entering the First Convenience Bank inside the Wal-Mart at 4600 E. Main St. shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday and presenting a bank teller a note that stated, "Give me $4,000 And Nobody gets Hurt," according to the criminal complaint.

Buckner said "please" when he handed the teller the note and "thank you very much" when he was given the $4,000 in cash, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, he did not brandish a weapon or threaten the teller during the robbery, actions which would significantly increase the maximum sentence for the offense.

FBI agents learned during their investigation that a suspect matching the bank robber's description was spotted at the Wal-Mart across town on West Main Street approximately 30 minutes before the robbery at the eastern Wal-Mart, the complaint states.

The West Main Street Wal-Mart provided surveillance footage that showed the suspect leaving the store in a four-door Nissan Sentra.

An unidentified witness came forward shortly after the robbery and told agents the robber looked like Buckner, based on his physical features and clothing, and Buckner was borrowing the witness' vehicle, a Nissan Sentra, at the time of the robbery.

Another witness, also unidentified, told detectives she and Buckner were supposed to put a down payment on a vehicle on the day of the robbery.

While they were at the dealership, Buckner claimed he left the money for the down payment at his house and left the dealership in the borrowed Nissan Sentra to get it, the complaint states.

He returned much later, she said, and paid the dealership $2,000 in cash.

Buckner was arrested Thursday and admitted in a statement to detectives that he committed the robbery, according to the complaint.

Buckner told the agents he used $2,000 in stolen cash to make the down payment on the vehicle.

He told agents where he stashed the remaining money and approximately $1,629 was recovered, according to the complaint.

According to court records, Buckner was cited twice in 2013 in Aztec Magistrate Court with drug paraphernalia possession, records state.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.