First of Two September 2017 Coffee Stand Robbers Sentenced in Federal Court

Caffe D' Arte and Heavenly Cup coffee stands where robbery and attempted robberies occurred. Image-Google Maps

Caffe D’ Arte and Heavenly Cup coffee stands where robbery and attempted robberies occurred. Image-Google Maps

U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder of the U.S. Justice Department announced on Wednesday that the first of two men convicted of the robbery of the Caffe D’ Arte and attempted robbery of the Heavenly Cup Coffee stands was sentenced in federal court.

28-year-old Myles Gonoangnan was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release and ordered to repay $1,200 he robbed from the stand and to pay $23,929 to the Anchorage Police Department for repair costs for two vehicles.

Gonangnan’s co-defendant, 36-year-old Shane Twigg, is due for sentencing on December 5th.

Gonangnan pleaded guilty to charges of:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce,
  • Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce,
  • Attempted Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce,
  • Using or Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence

It was on September 25th that Gonangnan put the robbery plan in motion with Twigg and loaded a bicycle into the back of his girlfriend’s Buick SUV and the two set out with a Roger Redhawk .44 caliber pistol to carry out their scheme.

The two traveled to the vicinity of the Caffe D’ Arte stand and while Twigg parked the vehicle at a nearby gas station and Gonangnan mounted the bike. Twigg, once he  was sure the coast was clear, gave Gonangnan the “thumbs up” to go ahead with the robbery.

Gonangnan pedaled to the coffee stand and while brandishing the  pistol demanded the stand’s money. The barista immediately turned over $1,200 and Gonangnan departed on the bike and met back up with Twigg.

Just over an hour later, prosecutors say, the two set out to rob the Heavenly Cup in the same manner as their earlier robbery. But, when Gonangnan biked up to the stand and demanded money, he had difficulty unholstering his firearm and as he was working to get the weapon out, the barista fled to the back of the stand and called 911. Gonangnan fled the scene without getting any money.

A short time later, patrol officers spotted the  Buick and attempted to pull it over near Dimond Boulevard and C street, but it sped away and a chase ensued. When one of the pursuing officers attempted to perform a pit maneuver, Gonangnan opened fire out the back of the Buick, hitting the vehicle multiple times.

His vehicle disabled, the officer came to a stop as other officers continued pursuit. As Twigg drove the Buick the wrong way on a one-way street, an officer rammed the vehicle causing it to crash in a parking lot, bringing the pursuit to a halt.

Both men were placed under arrest.

“Gonanagnan has a previous felony conviction with the State of Alaska for Burglary in the Second Degree, and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. Gonangnan also has a long history of misdemeanor offenses that were sometimes assaultive or threatening,” Bryan Schoder stated.

At sentencing, Judge Sharon Gleason took into consideration the danger posed to the baristas, police and the public when handing down Gonangnan’s sentence. The judge also recommended that Gonangnan be placed in “a facility with strong mental health treatment services.” She also recommended substance abuse treatment.