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Press Release

Houstonian sent to prison after two violent armed robberies

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

HOUSTON – A 51-year-old man has been sentenced following his convictions for committing two armed robberies in 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

A federal jury deliberated for approximately two hours after a three-day trial before convicting Hezron Benjamin Stuart, March 15 on two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal has now handed Stuart a 128-month term of imprisonment for the robberies. He also received 120 months for each firearms charge which must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed. The total 368-month prison term will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence about Stuart’s lengthy and violent criminal history, as well as three additional armed robberies he committed in 2019.

“Bank robbery is not a victimless crime,” said Hamdani. “Mr. Stuart spent his entire life committing violent crimes in our city. In multiple armed robberies he shot a gun and seriously injured a store clerk. This sentence will ensure the citizens of Houston are protected from his brazen criminal conduct in the future.” 

The jury heard evidence that on May 18, 2019, Stuart robbed the Corner Food Mart located on Mangum Street and discharged his firearm. 

On May 23, 2019, Stuart robbed a Citgo Gas Station located at South Loop East. The store clerk refused to give up the cash and was ultimately shot. 

At trial, the jury heard from witnesses in both cases, including the surviving shooting victim. The victim identified Stuart as the person who robbed and shot at them. 

In addition, an examiner compared Stuart’s fingerprints to those left at the Citgo gas station robbery and ultimately determined them to be the same.

Stuart represented himself during the trial and claimed he was not the individual who committed the robberies. The jury did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.

Stuart has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI conducted the investigation as part of the ATF Houston Crime Gun Strike Force with the assistance of the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Houston Forensic Science Center. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and Britni Cooper prosecuted the case. 

The ATF Houston Crime Gun Strike Force was created as a joint effort between the ATF And HPD to combat the growing trend in crimes involving firearms.

Updated December 13, 2023

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime