U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Nevada
District of Nevada
For Immediate Release
November 26, 2012
Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney
Contact: Natalie Collins, Public Information Officer
Felon Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Robbing Brothers at Gunpoint in Their Home and Carjacking Them
RENO, Nev. — A man with multiple prior felony convictions who robbed two brothers in their Reno home, and then forced them to drive to a remote location and lie face first on the ground before driving away with their vehicle, was sentenced today to a mandatory minimum of 25 years in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
John Louis Devencenzi, 32, of Reno, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks. Devencenzi pleaded guilty in August 2012 to using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm.
On May 22, 2011, victim C.Y. was awakened in his home by Devencenzi, who was dressed in all black and wearing a mask and gloves. Devencenzi pointed a short–barrel 12–gauge shotgun at C.Y.’s head and ordered him to open the gun safes. C.Y. stated that he was unable to open the safes and that they belonged to his brother. Devencenzi then took C.Y. to his brother’s (B.Y.’s) room, and woke him up and ordered them to the kitchen. A struggle ensued between the victims and Devencenzi, and Devencenzi discharged the shotgun into a wall. Devencenzi regained control over the victims and got them to open the gun safes, from which Devencezi removed 41 guns and some jewelry. Devencenzi then ordered the victims to load the firearms into B.Y.’s vehicle, and ordered B.Y. to drive and C.Y. to sit in the front passenger seat. Devencenzi got into the back seat with the shotgun and a loaded semi–automatic assault weapon and forced B.Y. to drive him to a remote location. The victims were then forced to get out of the vehicle and lay face first on the ground, while Devencenzi drove away in the vehicle. The brothers were found by a Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy near the Pyramid Highway. Devencenzi was later arrested by Reno Police Department officers on unrelated outstanding criminal warrants.
Devencenzi has four prior felony convictions, including burglary in 1997, burglary in 2001, and assault with a deadly weapon in 2006, all in Washoe County.
The case was investigated by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William R. Reed. The case was screened through the Northern Nevada Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force, a team of federal and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors who meet on a regular basis to discuss arrests involving guns and explosives. Project Safe Neighborhoods, also known as PSN, is a Department of Justice initiative and a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America.