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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Three Houston Men Face Federal Charges in Connection with Austin Jewelry Store Robbery Last Week

In Austin today, three defendants made their initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge on charges related to an armed Austin jewelry store robbery last week, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.

A criminal complaint filed on Monday charges 21–year-old Darius Limar Sonnier, 20-year-old Wallace Diaveon Charles and 18-year-old Tye Joseph-Phillip Gobert with one count of Interfering with Commerce by Robbery; one count of Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery; one count of Using, Carrying, and Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence; and, one count of Conspiracy to Use/Carry a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. 

The complaint alleges that the defendants, along with other suspects, entered the Korman Fine Jewelry store located on Burnet Road in Austin on May 7, 2020, and stole multiple Rolex watches and other items valued at over $200,000.  During the robbery, Sonnier allegedly assaulted and shot a security guard. The security guard required surgery and is recovering from his gunshot wound to the abdomen and blunt force trauma to the head.  A female employee was also allegedly struck in the back of the head with a gun.  The complaint also alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators caused substantial damage to the jewelry store estimated at up to $150,000.

Austin Police officers arrested Sonnier, Charles and Gobert in the vicinity of the jewelry store shortly after the robbery.  Authorities are still looking for the other robbery suspects. 

Upon conviction of the charges, the defendants face up to life in federal prison.  All three remain in custody at this time.

The FBI and the Austin Police Department are investigating this case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Anyone who has information about this robbery or the other two suspects in this case is asked to contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741 or the Austin Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Devlin is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated May 14, 2020