Last Defendant Sentenced in Brazen UH Armored Car Robbery
HOUSTON – The final defendant in the notable armored car robbery that occurred on the University of Houston (UH) Central Campus exactly three years ago today has been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Allen Bernard Roundtree, 31, of Houston, pleaded guilty Aug. 6, 2014, to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery.
Today, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison sentenced Roundtree to a total of 108 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $17,500 fine.
Also convicted were James Van-Gerald Johnson, 33, and Ronald Dean Richards, 26, both of Houston, who pleaded guilty in February and August 2014, respectively. Dezmond Lacraig Edwards, 26, also of Houston, proceeded to trial and was convicted Dec. 11, 2015. All were sentenced earlier this month. Johnson received a sentence of 125 months for his two counts of conviction - aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, while Richards had pleaded to one count of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery and was ordered to serve 60 months in federal prison. Judge Ellison sentenced Edwards to a 130-month-term for conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery.
Edwards was a Loomis guard who previously had driven the UH route and had provided inside information about the armored car and the route to Johnson, Richards and Roundtree. Some of the information included the facts that the side door of the armored car was broken and unlatched, making it easy to enter and that the driver was pregnant and would be unarmed.
The robbery occurred exactly three years ago – Dec. 6, 2013 - while students were attending completing final exams. On that day, Roundtree had dropped Johnson off at the campus. While the armored car’s courier was servicing an ATM machine, Johnson entered the armored car, stuck his pistol into the driver’s side and ordered her out of the vehicle. He then jumped in the driver’s seat and drove away. Roundtree followed in a truck. The driver had yelled and alerted the courier who then responded by pursuing the armored car on foot. The courier discharged his weapon, aiming for the armored car’s tire in an attempt to disable it. The armored car did not slow down and was driven to a UH parking garage on campus, where Richards met them in another vehicle to transfer the stolen money. The armored car was abandoned in the UH garage.
The FBI conducted the investigation along with UH police, Texas Rangers and the Houston Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Porto, Jennie Basile and Andrew Gould prosecuted the case.