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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hartford Man Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Role In Armed Robberies


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ELLIS THOMAS, also known as “L” and “Big Homey,” 30, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 84 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in an armed robbery scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 18, 2008, two individuals were lured to a house on Case Street in Hartford for the purpose of buying stolen jewelry.  When one of the individuals entered the residence, he immediately had a gun pointed in his face, was thrown to the floor, had his head covered and his hands bound.  The second individual, who had been waiting in the car, subsequently entered the residence and was also thrown to the floor, blindfolded, and had his hands bound.  The second victim was instructed not to move because the kidnappers had guns and they would kill him.  Shortly thereafter, the second victim was removed from the house and placed in a vehicle parked at the residence by his kidnappers.  While in the vehicle, the kidnappers stole the victim’s cell phone, earrings and a ring.

The kidnappers stated to the first victim that they wanted him to set up his friend, a known cocaine trafficker, so that they could rob him.  The victim complied with the kidnappers demand and arranged to meet the intended third victim at a location in East Hartford.  The first victim was then ordered by his kidnappers to drive his rented vehicle to the location in East Hartford, and was instructed to enter his friend’s vehicle and remove the keys from the ignition so that the kidnappers could kidnap the third victim.  One or two kidnappers exited the car shortly before meeting the intended victim, and a third kidnapper remained in the car.  After meeting the third victim and entering his vehicle, the first victim told the third victim to drive off as they were about to be robbed.  The third victim drove away to a safe location where the first victim called police.

The kidnappers stole from the first victim jewelry, money, his rental vehicle and several televisions that were in the back of the car.  The car was later recovered by police.

The second victim also escaped from the vehicle in which he was being held.

The Case Street residence was owned by THOMAS’ mother and THOMAS was identified as one of the kidnappers.

THOMAS has been detained since his arrest on November 7, 2012.  On May 29, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to interfere with commerce by robbery.

THOMAS’ criminal history includes convictions relating to felony assault, unlawful possession and discharge of firearms, burglary, larceny, escape, and fleeing from police.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hartford Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

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Updated March 18, 2015