Seven set to appear in court on violent crime charges
HOUSTON – Authorities have taken seven Houston area men into custody on allegations including conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and carrying a weapon in relation to a drug trafficking offense, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Travonte Ardoin, 25, Jcoi Naquon Barley, 23, Maurkael Brown, 27, Terrell Treyvon Davis, 25, Emery Jermaine Goodley, 23, and Jymonte McClendon, 24, all of Houston, and Terry Ardoin, 21, Richmond, are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Sheldon at 2 p.m.
Law enforcement took all seven into custody Friday following the filing of a criminal complaint.
The charges allege all are believed members or associates of the Freemoney gang operating in Southeast Houston. The Freemoney gang is suspected of committing a number of violent acts in and around the community, according to the complaint.
On Aug. 14, the seven men planned to participate in a robbery at a residence of a known drug dealer who often advertised his marijuana on an open Instagram page, according to the complaint. Brown had allegedly confirmed with Barley they had people to help commit the robbery. The charges also allege Terry and Barley discussed recruiting or needing more people who could “hit licks, kill and do everything they needed to do.”
Law enforcement was able to intercede and prevent the robbery from occurring, according to the complaint. Authorities allegedly recovered various firearms the men were planning to use at the time of the robbery including three that had glock switches attached to them.
All are charged with conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and carrying a weapon in relation to a drug trafficking offense. The robbery charge carries a potential 20-year prison sentence, while a conviction of the drug conspiracy has a maximum of 40 years. If convicted of the weapons charge, each will receive a minimum of five years and up to life which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed. Maurkael Brown and Terrell Davis are also charged with possession of a machine gun in relation to a drug trafficking offense – a crime that carries a minimum of 30 years and up to life which must also be served consecutively.
The FBI and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Collins is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law