Man sentenced for Medina robbery

A 30-year-old Minneapolis man on March 14 was sentenced in federal court for committing a series of armed robberies at various businesses, including the Wine Styles store in Medina.

United States District Court Judge Patrick J. Schlitz sentenced Donte McKinley Hollister to 210 months in prison on one count of armed bank robbery resulting from his theft of $1,890 from the U.S. Bank located at 2338 Central Ave. in Minneapolis on Oct. 17, 2011.

As part of his plea agreement Hollister also admitted committing four additional armed robberies that he was charged with under the Hobbs Act, according to Jeanne Cooney, spokesperson for United States Attorney B. Todd Jones. The robberies included thefts of $200 from the Medina Wine Styles store on Sept. 27, 2011, and $300 from the Way to Go Sports store in Golden Valley on Sept. 26, 2011. He also attempted to steal cash from the Mattress Giant Store in Roseville on Oct. 7, 2011, and from the Second Wind Exercise Equipment store in St. Louis Park on Oct. 13, 2011.

During the U.S. Bank robbery, Hollister brandished a black and silver handgun, vaulted the teller counter and demanded cash from the teller, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. After the teller gave him $1,890, Hollister fled the bank. In each of the four incidents involving businesses, he brandished a firearm to threaten store employees.

Hollister was arrested on Oct. 17, 2011, in connection with the Sept. 26 robbery in Golden Valley. He was indicted on Jan. 11, 2012, and he pleaded guilty on Sept. 18, 2012.

The Hobbs Act 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 tougher than under state law,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Furthermore, because the federal system has no parole, offenders serve virtually their entire prison sentences behind bars.”

A number of agencies cooperated in the investigation of the five robberies, including the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Hennepin County Violent Offenders Task Force and police departments from Medina, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Roseville and St. Louis Park.