Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to More Than 7 Years in Prison for Role in Kidnapping, Jewelry Store Robbery
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JEFFREY HOUSTON, 30, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 90 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a violent kidnapping and jewelry store robbery in April 2013.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 11, 2013, HOUSTON, Kasam Hennix, William Davis and Christopher Gay, all of whom were wearing masks and gloves and two of whom were armed with handguns, broke into an apartment on Gravel Street in Meriden, Conn., bound four victims with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets. HOUSTON, Hennix and Davis then forced two of the victims into a victim’s vehicle and drove to Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, Conn., where the two victims worked. Timothy Forbes traveled to Fairfield in a separate vehicle, and Gay remained in the Meriden apartment to guard the two other victims.
After HOUSTON, Hennix and Davis arrived at the Fairfield store, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds with a total replacement value of more than $3 million. They then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two victims bound inside the store. HOUSTON, Hennix and Davis abandoned the victim’s vehicle and got into Forbes’s vehicle. One of the defendants called Gay to advise him that they had successfully carried out the robbery and that he should leave the apartment. The defendants then fled the state.
The five defendants were arrested in May 2013.
Investigators determined that HOUSTON, Forbes and Gay had traveled from Pennsylvania to Connecticut on several occasions in the weeks prior to the robbery in order to track the victims’ movements between Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield and their residence in Meriden. In addition, Forbes and Gay placed a GPS on one of the victim’s vehicles in an effort to make it easier to track him.
On December 8, 2015, HOUSTON pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Forbes, of Allentown, Hennix, of Easton, Pa., Davis, of Allentown, and Gay, of the Bronx, N.Y., also pleaded guilty to federal charges. On April 17, 2015, Davis was sentenced to 176 months in prison; on January 27, 2016, Gay was sentenced to 102 months in prison, and, on February 8, 2016, Hennix was sentenced to 171 months of imprisonment. Forbes awaits sentencing.
The defendants have been ordered to pay restitution of more than $3.1 million, and have forfeited gemstones, jewelry, watches, a vehicle, and more than $127,000 in cash seized from them at the time of their arrests.
This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fairfield Police Department and Meriden Police Department. U.S. Attorney Daly also acknowledged the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and FBI in New York and Pennsylvania; the York, Allentown and Bethlehem Police Departments in Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Vizcarrondo.