A Bloomington man fearing eviction has been charged in federal court with being one of two men who robbed a Northfield bank of more than $11,000 at gunpoint, swiftly driving back to the Twin Cities and paying off his back rent.
Deandre D. McGowan, 33, was indicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with holding up Premier Bank on Jan. 15. McGowan remains jailed without bail ahead of a court appearance on April 24. Messages were left with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.
McGowan is also suspected of robbing the New Market Bank three weeks earlier up the interstate in Lakeville.
Federal authorities in one court filing termed McGowan’s criminal history as “robust,” pointing out that his offenses have “recently accelerated in severity” and include allegations of being involved in drug-related crimes.
According to the criminal complaint:
McGowan entered the bank in the 100 block of 5th Street E. wearing a bright yellow safety vest and aiming a handgun at three employees and a customer who was ordered to the floor.
A second man arrived with a backpack, took out a nylon cable tie and bound the customer’s hands. The accomplice handed the backpack to a bank employee, who filled it with $11,526. The two men fled on foot with the backpack.
Private video surveillance spotted a car circling the bank several times that day, and traffic cameras revealed the vehicle leaving Northfield, heading north on Interstate 35 and exiting in Bloomington not far from McGowan’s apartment building.
That same afternoon, McGowan provided Southgate Apartments management with a cashier’s check for $3,517 to cover overdue rent, halting the threat of eviction.
Police searched his apartment the next day and seized $629 in cash on him and other cash elsewhere in the residence, along with a backpack matching the one used in the robbery.
Federal authorities have yet to disclose whether the accomplice has been arrested.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482