Two men have been sentenced to federal prison for the armed carjacking of a woman at Rosedale Mall’s parking lot last February.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger announced on Monday the sentencing of Leon Kismit Bell, 49, of St. Paul, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, of Richfield.
Both pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting carjacking and were sentenced on Friday in U.S. District Court before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright. Bell received 120 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Piche was sentenced to 40 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
According to court documents, on Feb. 16, 2022, Piche and Bell intentionally took a car by means of force from a victim in the parking lot of the Rosedale Mall in Roseville. As the victim drove around the parking lot looking for a place to park, Piche and Bell followed the victim’s car. Piche and Bell waited for the victim to get out of the car and then approached. As Piche was watching out, Bell went up to the victim, brandished a gun, and demanded her car keys. After the victim said that her car keys were in her purse, Bell took her purse, which also contained her cellphone and wallet. Piche and Bell then fled from the mall parking lot before law enforcement arrived.
Court documents say officers with the Roseville Police Department were able to track the vehicle heading south on I-35W. The vehicle was driving erratically and due to safety concerns, officers stopped their pursuit. Further investigation led law enforcement to a location in south Minneapolis where Piche was taken into custody. The stolen vehicle was found a few blocks away from where Piche was arrested. On May 3, 2022, law enforcement located and arrested Bell in Minneapolis.
At the time of the carjacking, Piche had several pending cases which remain open to date, including one case involving counts of third-and fifth degree criminal sexual conduct, and two separate cases on charges of DWI.
Minnesota court records show Bell should have been in prison at the time of the carjacking on a felony conviction for theft — his 17th felony conviction. However, despite his lengthy criminal history that includes multiple burglaries and aggravated robberies, financial card fraud, auto theft and other thefts, he was granted a stay on the 21-month prison sentence in a dispositional downward departure by Dakota County Judge Shawn M. Moynihan. Instead, Bell was credited with 93 days already spent in jail and was placed on probation for a term of five years.
Unlike state sentencing which only requires offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated, the pair will be required to serve a minimum of 85% of their federal prison sentences prior to release.
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