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Brainerd man sentenced to five years for aggravated robbery

A 21-year-old Brainerd man was sentenced last week to five years in prison for felony aggravated first-degree robbery by Judge Richard Zimmerman in Crow Wing District Court.

Lawrence Antonio Johnson
Lawrence Antonio Johnson

A 21-year-old Brainerd man was sentenced last week to five years in prison for felony aggravated first-degree robbery by Judge Richard Zimmerman in Crow Wing District Court.

Lawrence Antonio Johnson will serve his sentence in the St. Cloud prison.

Johnson was initially charged Nov. 27, 2014, with three felonies - aggravated first-degree robbery, possession of an assault weapon and fifth degree drug possession.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Johnson:

• At 7:56 p.m. Nov. 20, 2014, Brainerd officers were dispatched to north Brainerd to a robbery that had just occurred and the victim was following the suspect's vehicle. While officers were en route, they were informed the robbery involved a gun and the victim had some items stolen from him by a male in the vehicle. As Brainerd officers proceeded to north brainerd, they kept getting updates from the 911 emergency dispatcher. Subsequently, the vehicle went into northeast Brainerd.

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• As officers were attempting to locate the vehicle, Baxter and Crow Wing County Sheriff's deputies also assisted in locating the suspect with a firearm. The vehicle was located on Washington Street going westbound in the area of Third Ave. They conducted a traffic stop on Washington Street just west of First Ave.

• Officers arrived on scene, blocked traffic and then got the female driver out of the vehicle and secured her. The female was identified as Tessa Dawn Gould. Police positioned themselves on the far right, observing a male in the passenger seat. The male was removed from the vehicle by officers and then secured in the squad. The man, Johnson, acknowledged he had a pellet gun underneath the front passenger seat.

• Two officers subsequently went up to the vehicle at gunpoint to clear the vehicle. Upon clearing the vehicle and ensuring there were no other parties in the vehicle, they searched and found the firearm, a .22 caliber pellet gun that was unloaded. Officers also detected an odor believed to be marijuana inside the vehicle. They located a small baggie of marijuana in a purse located on the passenger side floorboard where Johnson was positioned.

• Officers met with the victim, who said Johnson put the gun to his head and stole a phone and wallet.

• Johnson was searched and advised he was under arrest. Officers found $279, a small baggie, approximately 1- by 1-inch square, that officers know from past experience it is used for trafficking of illegal drugs. The baggie was removed and secured.

• Officer spoke with Gould who was handcuffed in the backseat. She admitted earlier that night she had gone with two friends to get some marijuana. She admitted to "Ripping off the Matt Guy" whose last name was not known. She stated when she got back to the residence, she got into her vehicle and at that time, Johnson got into the vehicle. According to Gould, Johnson was not with her when she "ripped off" the victim for the small baggie of marijuana.

Officers tested the sample and it was in fact marijuana.

• Gould reported she met the victim at Giant Wash. She was a passenger in the vehicle, but wouldn't identify the driver. Gould reported the vehicle she was in pulled up to the window of the vehicle the victim was in. She said they had met there so she could buy the marijuana from him. She requested he allow her to smell the marijuana before she purchase it. He allowed her to smell it. Gould said once she had the marijuana she along with the driver sped off without paying him.

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• Gould said Johnson was not with her in the vehicle at the time. She said she met Johnson at a residence later. She could not disclose the residence where she met him. Gould said she noticed the victim as a passenger in a car that was following her through town and a short time later she was being stopped by police. Gould told officers she did not know Johnson had a gun.

According to court documents, Johnson has prior convictions for terroristic threats and fifth-degree controlled substance crimes.

Gould was charged Nov. 20, 2014 with three felonies - aggravated first-degree robbery, fifth-degree drug sale and aiding and abetting an offender. Gould will appear for a plea hearing Feb. 23 in Crow Wing District Court.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

Related Topics: CRIME
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