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Armed robbers seeking marijuana and cash busted empty handed

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BEMIDJI -- Two masked men robbed a home at gunpoint on Roosevelt Road SE in Bemidji shortly after midnight Monday.

Michael Todd Fineday Jr., 19, of Bemidji, and Riley William Burns, 18, of Fosston, were arrested and face charges of first-degree burglary and aggravated robbery after assaulting a victim and stealing items from his home.

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  Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at approximately 12:15 a.m. Monday in the Roosevelt Manor Trailer Park and Little Norway Trailer Park area, according to court documents. The suspects later identified as Fineday and Burns reportedly had bandanas covering their faces and one was armed with a pistol.

Two victims in the home provided statements to deputies stating there was a knock on their door at approximately midnight. When the male victim opened the door he told law enforcement he observed two men, one dressed in dark red clothing with a light blue bandana covering his face and the other man was wearing black with a dark colored bandana over his face. The male victim attempted to block the door but was pushed aside and later punched in the face, according to court documents.

Fineday and Burns allegedly were screaming and demanded money from a female victim. Court documents state the men were looking for a person they believed to have marijuana and a large amount of cash at the residence.

A handgun was pointed at both victims before Fineday and Burns left the residence with an Xbox, video games, electronics, a cellphone and a pair of shoes in a pillow case.

Although the victims were instructed that they “better not call the cops,” according to court documents, they contacted law enforcement immediately.

Deputies were able to track Fineday and Burns by their footprints in the snow and a cellphone ping locator to a residence on the 300 block of Grant Avenu SE, where they stopped to use a phone. The pillowcase containing stolen electronics, shoes and other property was located near a pond south of the Sanford Center, according to the complaint.

Burns confessed to his role in the robbery, according to the complaint, and informed law enforcement he obtained the handgun and ammunition. According to court documents, Burns handed the gun to Fineday during the robbery and the gun was later discarded in the snow when they fled the scene. Deputies located the handgun.

Fineday and Burns made their first appearance in Beltrami District Court on Wednesday. Both are charged with first-degree burglary and first degree-aggravated robbery. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Fineday has a criminal background including felony motor vehicle theft in December for which he was sentenced Friday to 88 days in the Beltrami County Jail, but he was credited with time served and released Friday and placed on five years supervised probation. Burns does not have any adult felony convictions, according to an online search of Minnesota court records.

This is the second drug-related robbery occurring in Beltrami County in March. Beltrami County Sheriff said he does not believe the two incidents are related.

“These are individual incidents that have happened,” Hodapp said.

On March 15, two people were beaten over money in methamphetamine-related case. Four people now face kidnapping and false imprisonment charges.

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Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts and Beltrami county government for The Bemidji Pioneer. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
(218) 333-9200 x343
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