Jewelry Robber Sentenced to 150 Months in Federal Prison
DALLAS — Hilton Murdock Aitch, age 56, of Houston, Texas was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade to serve a total of 150 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in November 2016 to his role in the conspiracy to rob Tilak Jewelers in Irving, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Aitch pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence. Aitch has been in custody since his arrest in March 2016.
Aitch was charged along with eleven other individuals in an indictment in February 2016. Afraybeom Traverom Jackson, 27, Joshua Deunte Caldwell, 26, Dominique Pearson, 25, Irving Tyrone Flanagan, 47, Larry Solomon, 42, Terrence Lynn Thompson, 53, Anthony Ray Turner, Jr, 25, Treveon Dominique Anderson, 26, Michael Cornelious, 27, Xavier Rashad Ross, 25, and Vanlisa Scott, 47, were each charged with one count of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence. Out of the twelve, nine have pleaded guilty, two are set for trial in January 2018, and one has not made an appearance in the Northern District of Texas.
According to plea documents filed in the case, in the early morning hours on November 17, 2013, Aitch, Jackson, Caldwell, Pearson, Flanagan, Solomon, Aitch, Thompson, Turner, Anderson, Cornelious, and Ross, traveled from Houston, Texas, to the Dallas, Texas, area with the specific intent to rob the Tilak Jewelers store located at 8300 North MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 100, Irving, Texas. They stole a cargo van and a minivan after they arrived in the Dallas, Texas, area in order to avoid detection and apprehension by law enforcement.
Jackson, Caldwell, Pearson, Turner, Anderson, and Ross drove together in the stolen cargo van to the Tilak Jewelers store, with the specific intent to commit the robbery. Aitch, Flanagan, and Thompson participated in planning the robbery and positioned themselves outside the Tilak Jewelers store, but maintained communications with Jackson for the purpose of monitoring the robbery and alerting the participants of the presence of law enforcement.
Prior to entering the Tilak Jewelers store, Jackson, Caldwell, Pearson, Turner, Anderson, and Ross disguised their identities by wearing long-sleeved clothing, long pants, gloves, and items covering their faces. Jackson and the others entered the jewelry store by smashing the locked glass door with a hammer. After gaining entry into the store, they restrained the owners of the jewelry store with zip-ties, smashed jewelry display cases, and took jewelry from the owners and employees of Tilak Jewelers.
After securing the jewelry, Jackson, Caldwell, Pearson, Turner, Anderson, and Ross fled from the robbery using the stolen cargo van. They abandoned the cargo van at a predetermined location, where Solomon was waiting in the stolen minivan. Solomon then drove them to a second predetermined location, where Cornelious was waiting in a switch vehicle. Cornelious then used the switch vehicle to further facilitate their flight from the robbery and avoid detection and apprehension by law enforcement. Scott, who had traveled from Houston, met Aitch and the other coconspirators at a different location and took possession of the stolen jewelry for the purpose of safely transporting it to Houston, Texas.
The Irving Police Department, Houston Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Robinson was in charge of the prosecution.
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