Federal charges for Minneapolis man following armed robbery spree

A Minneapolis man is facing five federal charges following an armed robbery spree across the metro last week

A Minneapolis man is facing federal charges following an armed robbery spree last Thursday that stretched across the north and west metro from Fridley to New Hope and through Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald announced the charges on Tuesday against Derrick Lee Spillman, 39.

Spillman is accused of robbing four businesses in the span of about eight hours last Thursday, July 30, according to the charges.

The complaint alleges that just before 7 a.m., Spillman held up a gas station on the 7200 block of University Avenue Northeast in Fridley, another gas station on the 6400 block of West River Road in Brooklyn Center at approximately 7:08 a.m., a sandwich shop on the 2100 block of Lowry Avenue North in Minneapolis just before 1 p.m., and another gas station on the 9400 block of 27th Avenue North in New Hope just before 4 p.m.

Spillman used force, violence, and fear of injury in commission of the robberies, the complaint stated, indicating that Spillman brandished what appeared to be a firearm at victims to gain compliance.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Spillman wore a baseball cap and blue surgical mask during the crimes, but investigators were able to identify him based on his distinctive tattoos and a burn scar below one tattoo after viewing surveillance images from the robberies.

Spillman has been charged with four counts of robbery under the Hobbs Act, which allows federal prosecutors to charge individuals who commit armed robberies of businesses engaged in interstate commerce, and one count of carrying a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.

Spillman has a history of convictions for violent crimes including two for first-degree aggravated robbery, attempted simple robbery, violation of a domestic abuse no contact order, and felon in possession of a firearm. Spillman has other convictions for motor vehicle theft and narcotics.

Spillman, whose address is listed in north Minneapolis, made an initial court appearance on Tuesday and remains in federal custody. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6 before U.S. Magistrate Jon T. Huseby.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.