DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Erica H. MacDonald
, United States Attorney
Contact: Angie LaTour

Richfield Man Sentenced to Fourteen Years in Federal Prison for Violent Armed Robbery of Red & White Taxicab

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced sentencing of MARIO LUIS JONES, 27, for the violent armed robbery of a Red & White taxicab in Minneapolis, Minnesota. JONES pleaded guilty on May 8, 2018, and was sentenced to 168 months imprisonment, on December 3, 2018, by Judge Joan N. Ericksen in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"The defendant put many lives in danger. He has a lengthy criminal record, and chose to commit this offense while on probation for a previous sexual conduct offense," said United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. "I am grateful that the Court recognized his violent conduct and sentenced him accordingly."

"There is no room for this kind of behavior in our communities, and this sentence is fitting for Jones’ inexcusable acts," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Kirk Howard of the ATF St. Paul Field Division. "The prevalence of firearm-related crime is an ongoing issue, and ATF, with the help of our state and local partners, will continue to focus on bringing justice to the victims of violent offenders."

As admitted by defendant in his guilty plea and in other documents filed in court, on November 27, 2017, JONES got into a Red & White taxicab near the 2800 block of Pillsbury Avenue South in Minneapolis. JONES told the taxicab driver to take him to 5773 Bossen Terrace in Minneapolis, however, when they arrived, JONES told the driver that it was the wrong address. JONES then pulled out a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a laser scope, placed the barrel near the driver’s head, and demanded that the driver stop the car and open the trunk. JONES got out of the taxi and walked to the trunk area. Fearing that JONES was going to kill him, the driver ran off. JONES fired the firearm and then drove off in the taxicab.

As admitted by defendant in his guilty plea and in other documents filed in court, JONES was located driving southbound on Interstate 35 in the Lakeville area. When law enforcement officers approached JONES, he sped off at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. JONES eventually crashed into a swampy ditch and was later apprehended and arrested.

U.S. Attorney MacDonald thanked the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Lakeville Police Department who investigated this case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst who prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:

MARIO LUIS JONES, 27

Richfield, Minn.

Convicted:

  •  Interference with commerce by robbery, 1 count
  •  Using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, 1 count

Sentenced:

  •  168 months imprisonment (terms served consecutively)
  •  5 years supervised release

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Field Division: St. Paul Field Division