Robbery suspect arrested
The Alamo man suspected of robbing the T’iis Tsoh Mini Mart on the reservation was taken into custody last week by Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley. Ronnie Ganadonegro, 37, of Alamo, was charged with two federal felony counts, including armed robbery, in connection with an incident that occurred on Dec. 30.
Cearley said he received an anonymous call on Jan. 22 that a man who appeared drunk was seen on Highway 169, sitting by the side of the road.
“I went to check it out. It was near the bridge right after you turn onto the Alamo road,” Cearley said. “I found Ronnie sitting there, very intoxicated, and ran him through the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and got a hit on him as wanted by the FBI for that Alamo robbery.
“He was also listed as armed and dangerous. I talked to him briefly and searched his pockets. He said he hadn’t had anything to eat for three days. He was cooperative.”
After taking Ganadonegro into custody, Cearley contacted State Police, who contacted the FBI in Albuquerque.
According to the FBI’s Frank Fisher, Ganadonegro was charged with two federal robbery counts: “Whoever, within the territorial jurisdiction of the United Sates, by force or violence, or intimidation, takes or attempts to take from the person or presence of another anything of value” and “Any Indian who commits robbery against the person or property of another Indian.”
The way the robbery went down is described in the criminal complaint, which stated “on Dec. 30 at approximately 2:28 p.m. a man wearing a black coat with a hood pulled over his head and a mask over the lower part of his face entered the west entrance of the T’iis Tsoh Mini Mart. At 2:29 p.m. the man approached the front counter and pointed a handgun at the cashier and demanded that she give him the money from the register.”
The complaint said the cashier identified him as Ronnie Ganadonegro based upon his voice his clothing and scars on his eye and nose, since he was well known there and was actually at the store that same morning wearing the same clothing. Besides the cashier, the head stocker also recognized him and noticed he was trying to hide a cast on his left hand.
“Ganadonegro told the stocker to open the register,” the complaint said. “The stocker informed the assistant manager that Ronnie was in the store with a gun.”
The assistant manager then approached Ganadonegro and addressed him by name, to which he responded with the assistant manager’s first name and told her, “This is a real gun … you want some people dead in this place?”
The assistant manager told the cashier to open the register. Ganadonegro continued to point the weapon toward the register and “exhibited behavior consistent with ensuring that a round was in the chamber of an automatic handgun by pulling back the slide and looking inside.”
Ganadonegro reached across the counter and grabbed all of the cash out of the open register, which totaled $251.
“Prior to exiting the mini mart at 2:31 p.m. Ganadonegro pointed the handgun at the assistant manager and told her she better not call the cops,” the complaint said. “Ganadonegro exited the parking lot on foot and dropped 15 dollars from the amount of cash stolen from the register.”
The head stocker pursued Ganadonegro and held him down and informed the assistant manager that he had “Ronnie G. in hand.” When Navajo police arrived, Ganadonegro overpowered the stocker and ran into a canyon. The head stocker had the jacket that Ganadonegro was wearing during the robbery, but he did not know if Ganadonegro still possessed the weapon he brandished in the store.
The robbery was captured on the store camera and viewed by FBI Special Agents and Navajo Police Officers.