Hazelwood Man Sentenced for Robbing Florissant Subway at Gunpoint
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
St. Louis - Alonzo Payne, 37, of Hazelwood, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison by United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel. The sentence follows Payne’s July 3, 2019 guilty plea to one count of Interfering with Commerce by Threats or Violence and one count of Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence. The charges stemmed from a December 21, 2018 robbery of a Subway restaurant in Florissant, Missouri.
According to court documents, Payne entered the Subway restaurant in Grandview Plaza in Florissant and asked to be directed to the restroom. Instead of entering the restroom, Payne entered an “employees only” food preparation area and brandished a handgun, demanding cash. Two employees, 17 and 18 years old, complied with his demands and emptied the cash register. One of the two managed to enable the video camera on his/her cellular telephone and captured a recording of the incident. After Payne fled with an undetermined amount of cash, the employees called 911 and the Subway’s manager. Florissant Police arrived and reviewed the recording. The Subway manager recognized the voice on the recording as belonging to “Lonnie,” the boyfriend of a former Subway employee.
After several days of searching, Florissant Police located Payne at his girlfriend’s residence in Hazelwood. Payne left the residence in a vehicle, at which time Florissant Police conducted a traffic stop. Payne was sitting on a handgun at the time of the stop. Payne was on parole to the State of Missouri for burglary at the time he committed his crimes.
Following today’s sentence, United States Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen stated, “Mr. Payne is a dangerous repeat offender who continues to illegally possess firearms and victimize other citizens. We will continue to work with our important local partners like the Florissant Police Department to prosecute aggressively any person who commits a violent crime, particularly one involving a firearm.”
Florissant Police Chief Timothy Fagan commended the Subway employees who provided crucial evidence during the investigation. “Importantly, these young employees did not resist Mr. Payne and complied with his demands. At the same time, they had the presence of mind to secure vital evidence that assisted greatly in identifying Mr. Payne as a suspect. Law enforcement depends upon the continued cooperation of citizens like these two young people in our efforts to locate and arrest violent offenders.”
This case was investigated by the Florissant Police Department.
Updated October 4, 2019