U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Texas
Eastern District of Texas
For Immediate Release
December 13, 2012
John M. Bales, United States Attorney
Contact: Davilyn Walston, Public Affairs Officer
Beaumont Resident Sentenced to 30 Years for Federal Crimes Related to Seven Area Robberies
BEAUMONT, Texas — A 37–year–old Beaumont, Texas man has been sentenced to prison for federal crimes in connection with a robbery spree targeting local businesses in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Jarvis Allen Conway pleaded guilty on April 25, 2012, to two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Ron Clark sentenced Conway to 30 years in federal prison for the crimes during a hearing today.
Conway was charged by an indictment alleging that, between April 5 and June 21, 2011, Conway and others robbed the Wells Fargo Bank, Black Eyed Pea, Papa John’s, Sam’s Communications, McDonald’s, Compass Bank, and Seashell Gift Shop, all in Beaumont. The same indictment charged a co–defendant, Tameka Marie Gill, with robbing the Sam’s Communication store with Conway. Conway pleaded guilty on April 25, 2012, to committing two of the robberies.
According to information presented in court, on June 22, 2011, Gill drove to Sam’s Communications on 11th Street in Beaumont, and waited for Conway to enter and rob the store. Conway entered the store, brandished a semi–automatic pistol, and robbed the clerk of the store’s cash. Conway left the store and the pair fled. Ten days later, on June 12, 2011, Conway used a firearm to rob the Papa John’s Store on Calder Avenue in Beaumont. Conway left the store with a sum of cash, but was pursued by Beaumont police into an adjacent neighborhood. Although Conway escaped, the police recovered critical evidence, including clothing, the stolen cash, and a loaded magazine for a semi–automatic pistol.
On July 14, 2011, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Gill for her participation in the Sam’s Communications robbery, and a collaborative investigation was formed between the Beaumont Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office. After DNA evidence linked Conway to the clothing recovered from the Papa John’s robbery, the United States charged Gill and Conway together in federal court. As the investigation continued, Conway was charged by superseding indictments with the additional robberies. Under federal law, when there are multiple counts of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence, the first conviction is punishable by a minimum of seven years in federal prison, and additional convictions are punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison. Each sentence must be served consecutive to any other sentence. Conway faced a minimum sentence of 132 years imprisonment if convicted on all counts.
Gill pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery on May 3, 2012, and was sentenced by Judge Clark on October 4, 2012, to serve 30 months in federal prison.
The case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
This case was investigated by the ATF, and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.