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Fruitland man gets 14 years in prison for robbing Kirtland gas station with gun

Two previous convictions used during sentencing

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Santangelo Sims, 31, was sentenced during a hearing on Jan. 23.
  • Sims robbed the former Giant gas station at 4151 U.S. Highway 64 around 10 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2018.

FARMINGTON — A Fruitland man has been sentenced to 14 years in state prison after pleading guilty to robbing a Kirtland gas station with a handgun in early 2018.

Santangelo Sims, 31, was sentenced during a hearing on Jan. 23 in front of District Court Judge Daylene Marsh in Aztec District Court.

Sims signed a plea agreement on July 10 and plead guilty to a second-degree felony count of armed robbery, according to court documents.

Sarah Field, Sims' attorney, did not respond to a request for comment on Jan. 24.

Sims robbed the former Giant gas station at 4151 U.S. Highway 64 around 10 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2018, according to The Daily Times archives.

Security footage shows Santangelo Sims robbing a Kirtland gas station on Jan. 25, 2018. He was sentenced to 14 years in state prison for armed robbery on Jan. 23, in Aztec District Court

He pulled a gun on an employee after approaching the counter with a bag of cookies and left with $263 cash from the register. The cookies were collected as evidence.

The two employees were unable to give a good description of Sims as he hid his face with his coat.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office caught a break in the case on July 17, 2018, when investigators learned from a confidential source that Sims got drunk and bragged about the robbery.

Sims stated he left the scene by fleeing on foot to a field to the south and entered a vehicle driven by a relative.

The source reached out to the Sheriff's Office after seeing a post on the agency's Facebook page about the crime.

A lab report confirmed Sims' fingerprints were on the bag of cookies.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O’Brien told The Daily Times Sims got nine years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections for the conviction and an extra year for using a gun during the robbery.

Santangelo Sims

Two convictions, including a 2011 robbery in Arizona and a 2015 aggravated battery in New Mexico, added four years to his prison sentence.

"This is a repeat offender and the sentence will take him off the San Juan County streets for quite some time," O'Brien said.

The DA's office believes they were able to successfully prosecute Sims due to the work of the Sheriff's Office investigators in retrieving the fingerprint as evidence, according to O'Brien.

As a serious violent offender, Sims is required to serve about 85 percent of his sentence.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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