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Press Release

Houston man heads to prison for committing two bank robberies

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

HOUSTON – A 34-year-old man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of robbing two banks in the Houston area, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. William Jeffery Ellis pleaded guilty July 29.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered him to prison for 46 months as to each count to run concurrently and to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

Authorities identified Ellis as the perpetrator of two robberies – Smart Financial on E FM 1960 in April 2019 and Comerica Bank on W FM 1960 the previous month.

In each of the robberies, an unarmed Ellis demanded money using a threatening note taped to his backpack. The employees complied because they were frightened. 

The FBI and Harris County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting the case.

This is an example of coordination between law enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative which combines personnel and resources from numerous federal, state and local agencies. 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 case was 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.

Updated October 28, 2019

Violent Crime