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Denison man charged in federal court for robbery, use of firearm; state charges dropped

Denison man charged in federal court for robbery, use of firearm; state charges dropped

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Nhial Biliew

Nhial Kok Biliew, 23, of Denison, is now facing federal charges in connection with the June 23, 2020, robbery of the Country Store in Denison.

Charges had originally been filed in state district court. The state filed a motion on May 5 to dismiss its charges because prosecution by the federal government would make its case duplicative. The state charges had been 1st degree robbery, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and tampering with a jury witness

The state also moved on May 5 to dismissed charges of 1st degree robbery filed against Biliew in connection with another incident that took place November 26, 2019.

Three counts were filed against Biliew on April 28 in federal district court. Count 1 charges Biliew with interference with commerce by robbery. Count 2 charges Biliew with the use and brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Count 3 is possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

The federal charges and an arrest warrant remained sealed until May 5.

Details about the June 23, 2020, incident were described in the criminal complaint filed in state district court last year.

The criminal complaint says that Biliew arrived at the Country Store in Denison at 1:56 a.m. on June 23 and robbed the establishment at gunpoint. The complaint further says that Biliew demanded money from the cash register, pointed a black handgun at the clerk and told the clerk that he would shoot him if he called the police. It is alleged that he stole $250-$300.

The third count filed in federal court says that on or about July 4, 2020, Biliew possessed a Ruger .380 from which the manufacturer’s serial number had been removed, altered and obliterated and had been shipped or transported in interstate commerce.

Biliew is also ordered to forfeit the firearm and ammunition upon conviction of the offenses.

At an initial appearance and arraignment in federal court on May 6, Biliew pleaded not guilty to all three counts filed against him. A jury trial was set for 9 a.m. on July 6 in Courtroom 3 on the third floor of the federal courthouse in Sioux City. A detention hearing was set for 1:15 p.m. today (May 11).

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