MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 22-year-old felon was indicted by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis Thursday for allegedly robbing a Noble Mobil gas station in Brooklyn Park on Jan. 5, 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Philip Alvin Myers of Brooklyn Park was charged under the Hobbs Act with one count of interference with commerce by robbery. He was also charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment alleges that Myers robbed the gas station as an employee arrived. He allegedly forced the employee inside and demanded money from the safe. When the employee told him he did not have access to the safe, Myers took $100 from the cash register and fled in a stolen Acura.
Myers was arrested later after he crashed his car during a police pursuit. Police found the $100 cash on him and the gun on the ground near the abandoned Acura, according to the indictment.
Myers is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time because of his felon status. Myers has two prior convictions for second-degree burglary in 2004 and 2009.
“The Hobbs Act, passed by Congress in 1946, allows federal prosecutors to prosecute violent
habitual criminals who commit armed robbery in places of business involved in interstate
commerce,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office release states. “Federal prosecution of these cases is sometimes beneficial since the penalties are often tougher than under State law. Furthermore, because the federal system has no parole, those who receive federal sentences serve virtually the entire time imposed.”
If convicted, Myers faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison for using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, 20 years for robbery and 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm.