For Immediate Release
Fourth Defendant Admits to Robbing Local Business with a Firearm
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 22-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has entered a guilty plea to robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Francisco Chavera appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice B. Ellington today and admitted he robbed the Texas Food Mart in the 6100 block of Williams on Aug. 5, 2018, along with Matthew Joseph Bryant, 24, Nathealle Avori Tyrell Jones, 21, and Corey Alexander Newman, 25, all of Corpus Christi.
Officers responded to the aggravated robbery and observed a vehicle matching the reported description of the suspects’ vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle fled until crashing into a utility pole, at which time all four occupants ran. After a short foot pursuit, authorities arrested all four individuals.
At that time, law enforcement searched the vehicle and the surrounding area and discovered U.S. currency, convenience store items, cigarettes, disposable gloves and a loaded handgun with an extended magazine.
Surveillance footage at the location showed two males wearing dark clothing and bandanas covering their faces had entered the store. As one male, who was later identified as Bryant, stayed by the front door and pointed a handgun at the clerk. The other male, later confirmed to be Chavera, went behind the counter and emptied the cash register into a bag along with cigarettes and flavored cigars. Both men then took the clerk’s cellular phone and wallet before leaving the store and fleeing in a dark colored sedan Jones was driving.
Bryant, Jones and Newman each pleaded guilty Jan. 31, 2019. Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack later sentenced Bryant and Jones each to a 33-month sentence for the robbery to be followed by an additional 84 months for the firearms charge which must be served consecutively to the other sentences imposed. Both must also serve five years of supervised release following completion of their sentences.
Newman is pending sentencing before Judge Jack later this year.
Judge Jack will impose Chavera’s sentencing Oct. 31, 2019. At that time, he faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 possible fine for the robbery and a minimum of seven years for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.
Chavera and Newman have been and will remain in custody pending their sentencing hearings.
The Corpus Christi Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt is prosecuting the case.