MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a 36-year-old Fridley man was sentenced for using a .38-caliber pistol on March 11, 2011, to rob the Totem Superette in Columbia Heights. United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Jimmy Earl Matthews to 262 months in federal prison on one count of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Matthews, who was indicted on May 11, 2011, pleaded guilty on March 30, 2012.
In his plea agreement, Matthews admitted that on March 11, 2011, he and another individual drove to the store in Matthews's car. While the other person remained in the car, Matthews entered the store, concealed his face with a blue bandana, brandished the gun at the clerk, and demanded money. After receiving cash, Matthews fled, attempting to return to his car. However, Matthews encountered the police, dropped the gun behind his car, and ran, ultimately attempting to hide the cash in a snow bank. Following a short pursuit, Matthews was apprehended. Officers recovered the gun, the bandana, and approximately $146.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Columbia Heights Police Department, the Fridley Police Department, the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the U.S. ATF, with assistance from the Anoka County Crime Lab. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol M. Kayser.