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Crime & Courts

Man who robbed Anchorage coffee shop and fired at pursuing police gets 20-year federal sentence

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: October 17, 2018
  • Published October 17, 2018

Anchorage police investigating two armed robberies and an officer involved shooting in September 2017 attempted to stop the suspect vehicle in the area of Dimond Boulevard and C Street before it crashed. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

The 28-year-old Anchorage man who robbed a coffee shop at gunpoint and fired at police officers was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 20 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Myles Gonangnan and another man worked together to rob the Caffe D'Arte drive-through and tried to rob the Heavenly Cup coffee stand in September 2017 before leading police on a pursuit in South Anchorage, authorities said.

Gonangnan entered a guilty plea in February to four charges related to the crime, according to releases Wednesday from federal prosecutors and the Anchorage Police Department.

The other man, 36-year-old Eagle River resident Shane Twigg, is scheduled for sentencing in December.

Gonangnan admitted he and Twigg planned the robberies, which Gonangnan conducted while riding a bicycle and carrying a Ruger Redhawk .44-caliber pistol, charging documents say. Twigg drove nearby in a silver Buick SUV.

Gonangnan demanded money and banged the weapon against the pass-through window at the Caffe D'Arte drive-through, according to a sworn affidavit filed with the charges last year. He got $1,200 from the barista.

About an hour later, a barista at Heavenly Cup said a man matching Gonangan's description rode up on a bike, began mumbling and showed her the holster, the affidavit says. She went into the back of the store and didn't give him any money. Security video showed him trying, unsuccessfully, to get the gun from the holster.

Anchorage police spotted the Buick and tried to pull it over but the driver didn't stop and the pursuit began, the document says.

Gonangnan fired at pursuing officers at Dimond Boulevard and C Street, according to the affidavit.

Police returned fire in a "chaotic" encounter that ended when the Buick crashed into trees near the Costco entrance on Dimond.

Gonangnan, convicted of felony burglary in the past, wasn't allowed to have a firearm, federal prosecutors say.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason recommended that Gonangnan be placed in a facility with strong mental health treatment services, and that he undergo substance abuse treatment during incarceration, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He was also ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution to Caffé D'Arte and $23,929 to the Anchorage Police Department for repairs to service two police vehicles damaged in the pursuit.

Three of the four charges against Gonangnan mentioned interstate commerce, triggering federal involvement. That commerce: The coffee beans both stands use are grown outside of Alaska.

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