Federal Jury in Austin Convicts Houston Man for Multiple Armed Robberies and Firearms Violations
In Austin today, a jury convicted 40–year-old Austin and Houston resident Marvin Lewis (aka “Beau Louis”), who represented himself at trial, of federal charges in connection with a series of robberies and attempted robberies in Texas in 2014 and 2015 as well as one robbery in Ohio in 2015. United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Austin Police Chief Brian Manley; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge William Cotter; and, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo made today’s announcement.
Jurors found Lewis guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with Commerce by threats or violence; seven (7) substantive counts of interference with Commerce by threats or violence; twelve (12) counts of money laundering; four (4) counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Jurors acquitted Lewis of two money laundering charges.
Evidence presented during trial revealed that over a two-year period beginning in November 18, 2014, Lewis was responsible for 13 robberies/attempted robberies and one theft including:
* 11.18.14 (theft) – Costco in Katy, TX – diamond ring valued at approximately $24,600;
* 11.28.14 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Austin – 19 diamonds valued at approximately $176,600;
* 11.28.14 – C. Kirk Root Designs in Austin – 40 rings valued at approximately $9,700;
* 12.1.14 – Marc Robinson Jewelers in Austin – 6 Rolex watches valued at approximately $83,000;
* 1.7.15 – Exotic Diamonds in Houston – 25 pieces of jewelry valued at approximately $346,890;
* 1.7.15 – Deutsch and Deutsch Jewelers in Houston – attempted robbery;
* 1.22.15 – Wright Pawn & Jewelry Co. in Houston – 18 watches & 13 rings valued at approx. $219,280;
* 6.25.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Strongsville, OH – 48 diamonds valued at approx. $548,000;
* 11.5.15 – Tiffany and Co. in Austin – attempted robbery;
* 11.5.15 – Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin – attempted robbery;
* 11.5.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Austin – 26 diamonds & 14 rings valued at approx. $196,950;
* 11.5.15 – Costco in Katy, TX – 10 diamond jewelry items valued at approximately $20,800;
* 11.5.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Houston – attempted robbery; and,
* 11.6.15 – Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin – attempted robbery.
Jurors also found, based upon the evidence presented, that Lewis structured cash deposits under $10,000 in his bank accounts in order to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements; and, on two occasions, Lewis engaged in financial transactions to conceal the nature of the illegal proceeds by purchasing a 2010 Porsche Panamera and by gambling at a casino in Louisiana.
Testimony also revealed that authorities in Austin arrested the man Lewis hired to commit the Texas robberies, 38-year-old Brandon Grubbs of Houston, following the attempted robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers on November 6, 2015. At the time of his arrest, Grubbs was in possession of a pistol that testimony revealed was given to him by Lewis.
On February 8, 2017, Grubbs pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with Commerce by threats or violence and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Grubbs, who remains in custody, faces up to life in federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:00am on September 12, 2017, before United States District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin.
Lewis, who remains in federal custody, faces up to life in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for 9:00am on September 13, 2017, before Judge Yeakel.
The Austin Police Department, FBI, IRS-CI, and the Houston Police Department investigated this case with assistance from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Strongsville (Ohio) Police Department and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo, Matt Harding and Daniel Castillo are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.