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Press Release

Utah Man Sentenced to Almost 16 Years in Prison for a Violent Armed Robbery of the Carlsbad Motel 6

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Brandon J. Kimura (619) 546-9604 and Matthew Brehm (619) 546-8983  

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – September 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Lance Lamont Lavert of Utah was sentenced in federal court today to 189 months in prison for a violent armed robbery in which he terrorized and pistol whipped a Carlsbad Motel 6 clerk.

Lavert was convicted by a federal jury in August of using and brandishing a Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver during the robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The jury returned its verdict after hearing the testimony of 11 witnesses and deliberating for approximately two hours.

“What an excruciating experience for these victims, who were hunted and pistol-whipped by a gunman,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “This is a fitting sentence for a gunman who did not hesitate to attack. Protecting our community from violent criminals is our number one priority.”

During trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns, the prosecution relied on victims from the Motel 6, a Carlsbad police detective, forensic specialists from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and federal agents, among others, as witnesses to prove Lavert’s traumatizing crimes.

Witnesses described how, on the morning of July 9, 2018, Lavert and his girlfriend, a co-defendant, entered the Motel 6 on Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad, California.  Lavert approached the counter and asked for a room. When his request was denied due to a lack of identification, Lavert pulled a gun out of his backpack, pointed it at the clerk and her manager, and demanded money. The clerk and manager ran from Lavert but Lavert jumped the counter, kicked in the door of the bathroom where the clerk was hiding, and then brought the clerk, at gunpoint, back to the cash register.  Lavert demanded money and pistol-whipped her in the head.  After the clerk opened a drawer that held the motel’s cash, Lavert grabbed money from the drawer and ordered the clerk to give him keys to her personal vehicle. Lavert then jumped back over the counter and he and his girlfriend departed.

Two days later, Lavert was arrested trying to enter the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.  He had the Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver concealed in his waistband. The prosecution introduced certified court documents to prove Lavert had several prior felony convictions, including for arson.

Lavert’s co-defendant accepted a resolution before trial. 

This case is the result of the ongoing efforts of the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking (VCHT) Section.  Formed in 2019, by U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr., the VCHT is tasked with leading collaborations between federal and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving violent crimes, firearms and gang cases; sex trafficking and child exploitation; civil rights, labor trafficking and alien smuggling. The VCHT Section oversees the Southern District of California Coordinators for Project Safe Neighborhoods, Human Trafficking, and Project Safe Childhood.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 18cr3485-LAB                                             

Lance Lamont Lavert                                     Age: 37                                   Salt Lake City, UT


Interference with Commerce by Threats or Violence – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1951(a)

Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison and $250,000 fine

Using and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence –

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 924(c)

Maximum penalty: Life in prison; a mandatory minimum seven years in prison; and $250,000 fine

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 922(g)(1)

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison and $250,000 fine


Carlsbad Police Department

San Diego Sheriff’s Department

Homeland Security Investigations

Customs and Border Protection


Updated September 16, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: CAS19-0916-Lavert