For Immediate Release
Syracuse Man Sentenced to Nearly 21 Years for Armed Robberies of Corner Stores
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Akiem Howard, age 24, of Syracuse, was sentenced today to serve 250 months (20 years and 10 months) in federal prison for robbing two Syracuse corner stores, and for related firearms charges, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Chief Joseph Cecile, City of Syracuse Police Department (SPD), John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Marshal David McNulty, and William Fitzpatrick, Onondaga County District Attorney.
As part of his previous guilty plea to robberies of businesses engaged in interstate commerce (the Hobbs Act) and using firearms in furtherance of federal crimes of violence, Howard admitted robbing two Syracuse corner stores at gunpoint. The first robbery occurred on December 13, 2020, and the second was on December 21, 2020.
The December 13 robbery occurred at about 11:14 pm and Howard robbed it along with a second robber. Both Howard and the second robber pointed handguns at the store clerk. The December 21, 2020 robbery occurred at about 10:45 am approximately one-fifth of a mile from an elementary school. Howard robbed the store with a third robber, Chantal Jaquez. Howard used a revolver and Jaquez carried a rifle. While fleeing the store, Howard fired several rounds from his revolver at the store clerk. One of the bullets struck Jaquez in the leg. Jaquez previously pleaded guilty to participating in the December 21, 2020, robbery and, on August 18, 2022, was sentenced to serve 111 months in federal prison.
As part of his guilty plea, Howard also admitted committing three other armed robberies on December 19, 2020.
United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also sentenced Howard to a three-year term of supervised release to begin after he serves his term of imprisonment.
This case was investigated by the Syracuse Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division (SPD-CID), the SPD Intelligence Section (SPD-Intel), the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sutcliffe.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.