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Oct. 9, 2009

BANK ROBBERY INSIDER SENTENCED TO PRISON

(HOUSTON) - A Houston man who helped plan and execute two armed robberies of the credit union where he worked has been sentenced to a total of 162 months imprisonment, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Dorcell Devon Johnson, 19, Johnson pleaded guilty on May 14, 2009, to one count of aggravated bank robbery and one count of aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm in connection with the bank robbery and was sentenced today by United States District Judge David Hittner to 78 months and 84 months, respectively, to run consecutively. He has been in federal custody without bond since his arrest on Dec. 18, 2008, and will remain in custody to serve his sentence.

Johnson, who had worked for more than two years as an intern at the Investex Credit Union (ICU) in Spring, assisted two co-defendants, Dominique Sherrard Ervin, 20, and Carl Edward Preston Jr., 19, both of Houston, with robbing the credit union on Nov. 5, 2008. The three men planned the robbery in advance. Shortly before the ICU opened on Nov. 5, Ervin and Preston contacted Johnson, who was already at work, by cellular telephone. Once Johnson gave the go-ahead, Ervin and Preston entered the ICU wearing masks and carrying shotguns. Preston pointed his shotgun at an armed security guard, while Ervin pointed his shotgun at Johnson, pretending to take him hostage. 

With guns still drawn, Ervin and Preston walked the guard and Johnson to a back room where the vault was located. Johnson and a female bank employee opened the vault and began placing currency in a black bag provided by Ervin and Preston. Preston disarmed the security guard of his .357 revolver and also took the guard’s cell phone. Once the money was placed in the bag, Preston and Ervin forced the female bank employee and security guard to lie down. Ervin then fired a single shot from his shotgun over the victims’ heads, blowing out one of the vault’s security cameras.  Ervin and Preston then escaped through a rear exit door. Altogether, they absconded with $202,250, which they later divided with Johnson.

Johnson also assisted two other individuals with another robbery of the same ICU branch on Aug. 27, 2008, during which $126,750 was taken. During that robbery, a masked individual carrying a shotgun again pretended to take Johnson hostage. A third individual drove a getaway vehicle. The two individuals remain at large. The investigation continues.    

Johnson was ordered to pay restitution and serve a three-year-term of supervised release following his sentence. Johnson will also forfeit four shotguns and nearly $7000 in currency seized by officers from his apartment and vehicle on Dec. 18, 2008. Both of Johnson’s co-defendants also pleaded guilty. On July 15, Preston was sentenced to 155 months imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution and forfeit two vehicles that he purchased using his share of the proceeds from the Nov. 5 robbery. On Sept. 16, Ervin was sentenced to 198 months imprisonment and was also ordered to forfeit a vehicle that he purchased with proceeds of the robbery.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Houston Area Bank Robbery Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI and officers of the Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Searle.

 

 

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