June 5, 2014

Federal Jury Convicts Man of String of Armed Robberies of Las Vegas Convenience Stores During 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV—Following an 11-day federal jury trial, a man accused of robbing 13 convenience stores and a small casino in the Las Vegas area during 2013 was convicted today on all counts charged, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Abdul Howard, 48, of Las Vegas, was convicted of one count of felon in possession of a firearm, 14 counts of interference with commerce by robbery, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance of a crime of violence. Howard is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro on November 6, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. and faces mandatory life in prison.

“Violent criminals such as Abdul Howard are a threat and danger to the entire community,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We are pleased to be able to assist local law enforcement and use federal laws in these types of cases, which carry stiff mandatory minimum penalties and ensure that career criminals such as Mr. Howard are incarcerated for very long periods of time.”

According to the court records and evidence introduced at trial, Howard robbed 13 convenience stores and one casino in the Las Vegas area between January 15, 2013 and April 16, 2013. Howard robbed most of the businesses late at night using a semi-automatic handgun that he used to threatened store employees and some customers. In some of the robberies, Howard pointed the handgun at an employee or stuck a gun into the employee’s body or head. In one instance, Howard fired a handgun at an employee, and in another, Howard shot an employee in the neck. Investigators dubbed Howard the Cinched Hoodie Robber, because he typically entered the businesses wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood “cinched” up around his face in an effort to conceal his identity.

Howard has at least five prior felony convictions in New York, Florida, and Nevada related to robbery, burglary, cocaine distribution, and sexually motivated coercion.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Robbery Section, and North Las Vegas Police Department, as part of the Safe Streets Task Force and Project Safe Neighborhoods program and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip N. Smith, Jr. and Cristina D. Silva.