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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

Blaine Man Indicted in Connection with the Armed Robbery of a Carver County Convenience Store

MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 27–year–old Blaine man was indicted in connection with the December 3, 2011, armed robbery of a convenience store in Mayer, Minnesota. Demetrius Charles Edward Derden was charged with one count of interference with commerce by robbery, pursuant to the Hobbs Act.

The indictment alleges that on December 3, Derden, while threatening violence, stole cash from an employee of the Mayer Oil Company. According to a Carver County complaint, a man, later identified as Derden, entered the store wearing a face mask and puffy jacket. He carried an umbrella to shield his face from surveillance cameras. The complaint states that Derden pointed a gun at the store clerk and demanded money from the safes in the store’s back room. The clerk gave Derden cash from one safe but said he didn’t have the combination to the second safe. Derden then allegedly placed the gun barrel against the clerk’s neck and demanded that he open the safe anyway, saying his life depended on it. The clerk then heard the gun click but not fire. At that point, the clerk began struggling with Derden, who reportedly hit the clerk in the head with the gun and bit his finger. Subsequently, the clerk managed to pull off Derden’s mask and jacket, prompting Derden to flee the store. Inside the jacket, police found a check card in Derden’s name. When Derden was arrested at his residence, officers found some of the cash from the robbery hidden inside a stuffed animal. Police learned that the weapon used was a BB gun.

If convicted, Derden faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

The Hobbs Act, passed by Congress in 1946, allows federal prosecutors to prosecute violent habitual criminals who commit armed robbery in places of business that involve interstate commerce. Federal prosecution of these cases is sometimes beneficial since the penalties are often tougher than under state law. Furthermore, because the federal system has no parole, those who receive federal sentences serve virtually the entire prison term imposed.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie E. Allyn.