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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 31, 2020

Minnesota Man Sentenced to 3 Years for Robbing River Falls Business

MADISON, WIS. - Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Larry Darnell Armstrong, 50, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to three years in federal prison for committing a robbery of a business located in River Falls, Wisconsin.  The parties jointly recommended the three-year prison sentence.

On June 13, 2019, Pierce County, Wisconsin dispatch received a 911 call regarding an armed robbery at North Town Cleaners in River Falls. Responding officers met with an employee of North Town Cleaners who stated that she was working at the counter when two men entered the store.  The larger of the two men, later identified as Larry Armstrong, approached the counter and stated that he needed some buttons sewn on a coat. Armstrong gave the employee the coat and several buttons, and gave his last name as Johnson.  During that time, the smaller of the two men was at the soda machine.       

According to the employee, Armstrong asked for change for a $20 bill. The employee went to the safe to deposit the $20 and make change, and as she was starting to close the safe, the other man pointed a black handgun at her and demanded money. The employee gave him a black bank bag, and he reached into the safe and grabbed a box of quarters.  Both Armstrong and the other man ran out of the business.

Armstrong was identified after the buttons were submitted to the Wisconsin State Crime laboratory in Madison and a DNA profile taken from the buttons matched the DNA profile of Armstrong that was on file. Law enforcement officers then obtained driver’s license information for Armstrong and he matched the description of the robber. Law enforcement officers also ran Armstrong’s criminal history, which revealed that he has used different aliases, including “Shelly A. Johnson.”  Finally, Armstrong’s cell phone was in River Falls on June 13, 2019, during the North Town Cleaners robbery. Later that same day, the phone was in the area of Armstrong’s residence in Minneapolis. 

To date, Armstrong’s accomplice has not been identified.

The charge against Armstrong was the result of an investigation conducted by the River Falls Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 31, 2020