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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 22, 2019

Four Set to Appear on Charges Related to Deadly Robbery Spree

HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against four Houston men for robbery and using firearms during the crimes of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. During one of the alleged offenses, an elderly employee was shot and killed.

Those charged include Melvin Jones, 20, Daivion Gully, 18, Deanjelo Wells, 19, and Artavius Johnson, 29, all of Houston. Previously in state custody on related charges, all were transferred to federal custody and are set to make their initial appearances this morning at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy. A federal grand jury returned the indictment March 14, 2019.

The indictment alleges four separate robberies of local convenience stores, during which the defendants stole U.S. currency before fleeing.

On Nov. 3, 2018, Jones, Gully, Wells and Johnson allegedly robbed the Sunny Food Mart at gunpoint on 9075 South Dairy Ashford in Houston. During the violent crime, two suspects discharged their firearms several times, killing a 66-year old store clerk.

The following month, the indictment alleges Jones and Wells committed two more armed robberies, both on Oct. 24, 2018. The first occurred at the Chevron station at 8265 Richmond Avenue, according to the charges. Less than two hours later, they allegedly targeted Gulf Gas located on 3300 Yellow Stone. The indictment further alleges Gully and Wells had robbed the same Gulf Gas convenience store at gunpoint just a month prior - on Sept. 26, 2018. 

All four defendants were captured and arrested Nov. 7, 2018.

They are all charged with aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery and aiding and abetting use, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in federal prison for the robbery charges. The firearm offense alleged in the robbery of the Sunny Food Mart, which resulted in death, carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in federal prison, or the possibility of death which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed. The remaining firearms charges carry a mandatory and consecutive minimum of seven years up to life imprisonment. Each conviction also carries the possibility of a $250,000 fine.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation as part of the recently announced Crime Gun Strike Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Wirsing and Jill J. Stotts are prosecuting the case.

The indictment is an example of coordination between law enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative. The goal is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.

The cases are brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 22, 2019