Jury Convicts Two Men in Pasadena Bank Robbery
HOUSTON - A federal jury sitting in Houston has found two Houston men guilty for the attempted robbery and robbery of the Shared Resources Credit Union and for using and carrying a firearm during commission of the crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The federal jury deliberated for less than five hours before convicting Raynard Gray, 33, and Sonny Pervis, 27, both of Houston, on all counts as charged following a three-day-trial.
A total of seven men met and planned the robbery of the credit union. The jury heard Gray was the leader of this robbery crew and acted as a lookout during the robberies, while Pervis was one of the men who entered the credit union and brandished and discharged a firearm.
They arrived at the bank first on Saturday, July 26, 2014, with the intention of committing the robbery. The jury heard that employees inside the bank observed the men with the firearms as they approached. However, the doors to the lobby were locked so the crew left, but returned two days later to complete the crime.
The men fled the scene after stealing the money on July 28. A civilian followed them in order to give police the vehicle information of the robbers, during which time Howard Glaze, 24, of Houston, and Pervis discharged their firearms in a neighborhood in his direction. The group then led officers on a high-speed chase from Pasadena to north Houston, where they abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot. Glaze was soon apprehended. The investigation later led to the discovery and arrest of the others.
During trial, the jury saw surveillance videos, photos and police dash camera footage of the high speed chase and heard testimony from 12 witnesses. They also heard from a sergeant with the Pasadena Police Department who collected cash, bank straps and clothing of the robbers from the abandoned vehicle. The officer was also able to lift a fingerprint off a trash bag found in that vehicle, which belonged to Pervis.
The defense did not dispute that the robberies occurred, but contended that Pervis and Gray were not involved. The jury was not convinced and convicted them on all charges.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake presided over the trial and set sentencing for June 15, 2017. At that time, Pervis and Gray face up to 25 years for the attempted robbery and robbery of the credit union. They will also face a mandatory and consecutive five years for using a firearm in the attempted robbery and another mandatory 25 years for using a firearm during the actual robbery which must be served consecutively to the bank robbery conviction and to the other firearms charge. They will remain in custody pending sentencing.
The remaining five co-defendants - Chris Braziel, 29, Keith McGee,26, Glaze, Kwhun Johnson, 24, and Leroy Richardson, 36, all of Houston, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies and will also be sentenced on that date.
The FBI and police departments in Pasadena and Houston conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Hanes and Heather Winter are prosecuting the case.