Woman Convicted and Man Sentenced in Houston Armored Car Robbery
HOUSTON—Emeral Watson, 19 of Houston, has entered a plea of guilty in relation to an attempted robbery of an armored car operating in and around Houston, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Co-defendant Effron Williams, 22, of Houston, was previously convicted and was ordered to prison yesterday as a result of his guilty plea.
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ordered Williams to serve a total of 130 months for his convictions of conspiracy and interference with commerce by robbery and discharging of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.
Garda Cash Logistics., who operated the truck during the robbery attempt, maintains offices throughout the United States and was engaged in the business of secured armored transport of United States currency in interstate commerce and in picking up and delivering United States currency to financial institutions and check cashing businesses, both of which are industries which affect interstate commerce.
Watson and Williams were charged along with Christopher Brandon Pietrie, 19, also of Houston, for their involvement in the March 10, 2013, attempted robbery of a Garda Cash Logistics armored truck at the Chase Bank located at 10411 North Freeway in Houston. Watson drove to the location, while Williams and Pietrie got out of the car and approached the armored car guard who was in the process of filling an ATM machine. The guards and the defendants exchanged gunfire, but no one was injured and no money was obtained.
Pietrie also previously pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing July 29, 2015. Watson will be sentenced July 1, 2015. Both face up to 20 years in prison as well as a possible $250,000 fine for their convictions of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force, which includes the Harris County Sherriff’s Office and Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting the case.