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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Hold-Up of Northwest Washington Diner

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant and Accomplice Robbed Restaurant and Customers

            WASHINGTON – Willie Quinones, 28, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to federal robbery and firearms charges stemming from a hold-up that took place in October 2016 at a diner in Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Quinones pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to charges of interference with interstate commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act) and using, carrying, brandishing, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. The robbery charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and the firearms offense carries a mandatory minimum of seven years and a potential sentence of life imprisonment. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Quinones faces a likely range of 57 to 71 months in prison for the robbery charge and at least seven additional years on the weapons offense.

            The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan scheduled sentencing for May 21, 2019.

            According to plea documents, on Oct. 17, 2016, at approximately 3:12 a.m., Quinones and an accomplice entered the Steak-N-Egg restaurant in the 4700 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW. Quinones approached employees to gain access to the cash register while his accomplice pointed a gun at them. The employees raised their hands into the air and kneeled on the floor. Quinones then took money from the cash register before demanding access to a safe.

            When an employee insisted that they did not have a key to the safe, Quinones yelled to his accomplice to shoot them. The accomplice, meanwhile, held the gun and pointed it around the room at people inside the restaurant. The accomplice asked which person to shoot, and Quinones responded that the accomplice could shoot all of them.

            No shots were fired, and Quinones then approached and robbed three customers in the establishment. The two then fled the diner.

            At the time of the robbery, Quinones was on probation for an armed robbery in Prince George’s County, Md., and was wearing a GPS tracking device. He was located at 11 a.m., hours after the crime, by MPD officers at an apartment building in Northeast Washington. He was arrested and has remained in custody ever since. No others have been arrested in the case.

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory P. Rosen, with assistance from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kara Traster.


Updated March 8, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-24