Gas station robbery nets cigars and long prison term


A Minneapolis man with a long criminal record was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for a gas station robbery committed with a knife, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Elliot Pierson, 37, was sentenced Monday to 108 months in prison for the first count of aggravated robbery and then 57 months, to be served consecutively, on the second count of aggravated robbery for a total of 165 months. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office had asked for the consecutive sentences and Hennepin County District Court Judge Kathryn Quaintance ordered the sentence based on his criminal history of numerous armed robberies and the fact that he had tested positive for cocaine while out on conditional release.

According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police were called to a gas station in the 5100 block of 34th Avenue South on Sept. 4. One of the employees said Pierson entered the store and showed a knife and demanded money from the cash register. The employee opened the register and Pierson took the money and then demanded that the employee open a second register. The employee said he did not have the password for that register and Pierson ordered him to get the second employee from the back of the store.

The second employee opened the other register and Pierson took the cash, as well as Swisher Sweet Cigars and stuffed them in a black backpack. After Pierson left, the employees called police and gave them a detailed description. They found Pierson hiding by a nearby garage and caught him when he ran away. By the garage they found the backpack with $379 in cash, the cigars and a kitchen knife, the complaint states.

Pierson pleaded guilty to the two counts of first-degree robbery on Jan. 30.

Pierson Criminal Complaint (PDF)