Man sentenced to over 7 years for armed robberies at Minneapolis businesses

A man was sentenced to 88 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in three armed robberies at Minneapolis businesses, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger.

Matthew Dereck Howell, 23, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery on November 8, 2022.

Court documents state that on March 31, 2022, Howell went into Dollar City Plus in Minneapolis while an unidentified accomplice waited outside as a lookout. Howell aimed a gun at the store owner behind the counter and demanded money from the register.

As Howell was telling the employees to move faster, he shot the gun, and a bullet grazed the store owner’s neck. Howell then went behind the counter, took about $1,200 from the register, and left the store on foot.

In a separate incident on April 3, 2022, Howell drove to Sam’s Market and Meat in Minneapolis. According to the official release, Howell went to the counter inside, pulled out a handgun, and pointed it at the clerk.

After demanding money from the register and threatening to shoot, Howell reached over the counter and took around $50.

Later that same day, Howell went to the Minneapolis Market, approached the counter, and pointed a gun at an employee. He demanded money from the register and then reached over the counter and took about $700 before leaving, according to court documents.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Minneapolis Police Department.