Houston Man Sentenced to 77 Years in Federal Prison for Multiple Armed Robberies and Firearms Violations
In Austin today, a federal judge sentenced 40–year-old Austin and Houston resident Marvin Lewis (aka “Beau Louis”), to 77 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for 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.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered that Lewis pay $1,596,873 restitution and a $2,400 special assessment. Judge Yeakel also ordered that Lewis forfeit to the government a 2010 Porsche Panamera, approximately $25,000 in U.S. Currency, as well as various pieces of gold and diamond jewelry recovered by authorities.
On June 16, 2017, jurors found Lewis guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with Commerce by threats or violence; seven substantive counts of interference with Commerce by threats or violence; twelve counts of money laundering; four 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, who represented himself at trial, 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 the 2010 Porsche Panamera and by gambling at a casino in Louisiana.
“With more than 30 prior felony convictions, federal prison is an ideal location for Marvin Lewis to call a permanent home. No longer will Lewis be able to live a lavish lifestyle and a have nothing but complete disregard for others’ personal property,” stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
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. Yesterday, Judge Yeakel sentenced Grubbs to 184 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Yeakel also ordered that Grubbs pay, jointly and severally with Lewis, $1,047,924 restitution in this case.
“Today's sentencing of Marvin Lewis sends a clear message to those who attempt to hide their ill-gotten gains,” said William J. Cotter, Special Agent in Charge San Antonio Field Office. “All financial transactions leave a trail and IRS CI Special Agents followed the money that proved Lewis lived a lifestyle he could not legitimately afford.”
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 prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.