HOUSTON - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment
against four Houston men for robbery and using firearms during the crimes of
violence, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. During one of the alleged
offenses, an elderly employee was shot and killed.
Those charged include Melvin Jones, 20, Daivion Gully,
18, Deanjelo Wells, 19, and Artavius Johnson, 29, all of Houston. Previously in
state custody on related charges, all were transferred to federal custody and
are set to make their initial appearances this morning at 10:00 a.m. before
U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy. A federal grand jury returned the
indictment March 14, 2019.
The indictment alleges four separate robberies of local
convenience stores, during which the defendants stole U.S. currency before
On Nov. 3, 2018, Jones, Gully, Wells and Johnson
allegedly robbed the Sunny Food Mart at gunpoint on 9075 South Dairy Ashford in
Houston. During the violent crime, two suspects discharged their firearms
several times, killing a 66-year old store clerk.
The following month, the indictment alleges Jones and
Wells committed two more armed robberies, both on Oct. 24, 2018. The first
occurred at the Chevron station at 8265 Richmond Avenue, according to the
charges. Less than two hours later, they allegedly targeted Gulf Gas located on
3300 Yellow Stone. The indictment further alleges Gully and Wells had robbed
the same Gulf Gas convenience store at gunpoint just a month prior - on Sept.
All four defendants were captured and arrested Nov. 7,
They are all charged with aiding and abetting
interference with commerce by robbery and aiding and abetting use, brandishing
and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in federal
prison for the robbery charges. The firearm offense alleged in the robbery of
the Sunny Food Mart, which resulted in death, carries a mandatory minimum of 10
years up to life in federal prison, or the possibility of death which must run
consecutively to any other sentence imposed. The remaining firearms charges
carry a mandatory and consecutive minimum of seven years up to life
imprisonment. Each conviction also carries the possibility of a $250,000 fine.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation as part of the
recently announced Crime Gun Strike Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie
Wirsing and Jill J. Stotts are prosecuting the case.
The indictment is an example of coordination between law
enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime
The goal is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater
Houston area by targeting the region's most violent offenders, augmenting
investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public
awareness and education.
The cases are brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods
(PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all
levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods
safer for everyone.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct,
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through
due process of law.