Massive Sentence Imposed for Pasadena Bank Robbery
HOUSTON – A Houston man will be serving more than 40 years in prison 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. A federal jury deliberated for less than five hours before convicting Raynard Gray, 34, and Sonny Pervis, 28, March 23, 2017, on all counts as charged following a three-day-trial.
Today, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake handed Pervis a total sentence of 485 months in federal prison – 125 months for the robberies in addition to five years for the first firearms charge and another 25 years for the second which must be served consecutively to each other and to the bank robbery sentences. Following completion of his more than 40-year prison term, he will serve five years of supervised release. The sentence was enhanced due to the reckless endangerment during flight. The judge found that following the robbery, Pervis aided and abetted the high speed chase and fired his weapon at a civilian in a nearby neighborhood.
Gray’s hearing was continued to a later date.
A total of seven men met and planned the robbery of the credit union. At trial, 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.
Pervis and Gray and Braziel will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The remaining five co-defendants - Keith McGee, 27, Glaze, Kwhun Johnson, 25, Leroy Richardson, 37, and Chris Braziel, 30, all of Houston, had pleaded prior to trial. McGee was ordered to serve a sentence of 140 months, while Richardson, Johnson and Glaze received respective sentences of 130, 60 and 130 months imprisonment. Braziel is set for sentencing Feb. 15, 2018.
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.