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Man gets sentenced for robbing Bemidji store

By Justin Glawe

MINNEAPOLIS – For robbing a Bemidji convenience store with shotgun in late 2011, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to over a decade in prison Wednesday.

Jason Lee King, whose address is not known, was sentenced to 132 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.

He plead guilty in June, 2011 to one count of interference to commerce by robbery and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

In pleading guilty, King admitted to robbing Newby’s Market, 13477 Irvine Ave. NW just before 9 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2011. King threatened the store’s clerk with a loaded, short-barreled shotgun and received $1,476 from the employee.

King and another male, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, then fled. Deputies with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office spotted their vehicle as the pair fled into the woods, and took them into custody.

The 20-guage shotgun used in the robbery, and all but $56, were recovered by police, according to the release.

Federal prosecutors utilized the Hobbs Act to acquire a stiffer sentence for King. The act allows for the prosecution of robberies to businesses that engage in interstate commerce – Newby’s, as a seller of alcohol, falls into that category.

The investigation of the robbery was handled jointly by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen prosecuted the case.

Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
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