Three Men Plead Guilty, Admit Participating in Violent Kidnapping and Jewelry Store Robbery
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that WILLIAM DAVIS, 27, of Allentown, Pa., JEFFREY HOUSTON, 28, of Allentown, and CHRISTOPHER GAY, 29, of Bronx, N.Y., have pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to charges stemming from their involvement in a violent kidnapping and jewelry store robbery in April 2013.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 11, 2013, at least four men wearing masks and gloves, two of whom were armed with handguns, broke into an apartment on Gravel Street in Meriden, Conn., bound four victims with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets. Three of the perpetrators then forced two of the victims into a victim’s vehicle and drove to Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, Conn., where the two victims worked. At the store, the perpetrators stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds valued at between $4 million and $5 million. They then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two victims bound inside the store.
DAVIS, HOUSTON and GAY have been detained since their arrests on May 22, 2013.
Today, DAVIS pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. HOUSTON and GAY pleaded guilty to the same charges on December 8 and December 10, respectively.
When they are sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford, each faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on the robbery charge and a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least seven years on the firearm charge. Each also faces a restitution order of approximately $3 million.
In pleading guilty, DAVIS, HOUSTON and GAY have agreed to forfeit gemstones, jewelry, watches and more than $127,000 in cash seized from them on May 22, 2013. HOUSTON also has agreed to forfeit his vehicle.
Two other individuals have been charged with participating in this kidnapping and robbery and are awaiting trial.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fairfield Police Department and Meriden Police Department. U.S. Attorney Daly also acknowledged the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and FBI in New York and Pennsylvania; the York, Allentown and Bethlehem Police Departments in Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Lee Dayton.