MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge has sentenced a Rochester man to 14 years in prisonin connection with the robbery of three McDonald's restaurants in southern Minnesota.

Christian Aaron Alexander, age 25, received the 186 month sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of interference with commerce by robbery, in violation of the Hobbs Act, and one count of discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

In his plea agreement, Alexander admitted that he stole money from the McDonald's restaurants in Byron, Rochester and Winona,and in the process, threatened employees with a firearm.

Prosecutors say that on September 19, 2010, Alexander stole approximately $1,882 from the Winona McDonald's; on June 15, 2011, approximately $1,851 from the Byron McDonald's; and on June 26, 2011, approximately $2,740 from the Rochester McDonald's. Investigators say Alexander worked with an accomplice during the Byron and Winona robberies, and during the Byron robbery, he discharged a firearm.

Alexander also admitted to authorities that in all three robberies he stole personal property belonging to the victims, who were restaurant employees. He also physically restrained the victims during the robberies by locking them in the restaurants' walk-in coolers.

His accomplice in oneof the robberies, 30-year-old Quiana Shaneea Evans of Rochester, has pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of aiding and abetting the use, carrying, possessing, and discharging of a firearm. She has not yet been sentenced.

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