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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

District Man Sentenced to 12 Years In Hold-Up of Northwest Washington Diner

Defendant and Accomplice Robbed Restaurant and Customers

           WASHINGTON – Willie Quinones, 28, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 12 years in prison on charges stemming from a hold-up robbery that took place in October 2016 at a diner in Northwest Washington.

           The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Charles A. Dayoub, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

           Quinones pled guilty in March 2019 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 plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentencing maximum of 20 years in prison for the robbery charge and a mandatory minimum of seven years for the firearms offense. The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan accepted the plea and Quinones was sentenced on July 02, 2019, to 70 months on the robbery charge and 84 months on the firearm charge. Following his prison term, Quinones will be placed on three years of supervised release.

           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 with assistance from the U.S. Park Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory P. Rosen, with assistance from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kara Traster.

Press Release Number: 
Updated July 3, 2019