For Immediate Release
Minneapolis Felon Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery of Two Banks and Minneapolis Apparel Store
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to multiple armed robberies, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.
According to court documents, on February 4, 2018, Richard Alonzo Woods, 38, and two accomplices entered Project SoZo, an apparel store in Minneapolis, wielding guns and threatening customers and employees. Woods and his accomplices stole jewelry, money, and cell phones from the customers, and approximately $600 in cash from the register and other store merchandise, including $1,900 Nike Air Jordan shoes.
According to court documents, on February 22, 2018, Woods and two accomplices entered Lake Area Bank in White Bear Lake brandishing guns and demanding money from the tellers. Surveillance video footage from the bank showed Woods jump over a counter and take cash from the teller’s drawer. Woods and his accomplices stole approximately $9,816 in cash from the bank.
According to court documents, on May 4, 2018, Woods and an accomplice entered Bremer Bank in Brooklyn Center brandishing guns and demanding money from the tellers. A third accomplice was waiting in a getaway car. Woods and his accomplices stole approximately $88,618 in cash from the bank.
Woods pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright to one count of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), two counts of armed bank robbery, two counts of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is the result of investigations conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Minneapolis Police Department, the White Bear Lake Police Department, and the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha H. Bates and former Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk prosecuted the case.