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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
For Immediate Release
Jennifer B. Lowery, United States Attorney
Contact: Angela Dodge
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Houston Man Gets Lengthy Sentence for 2019 Carjacking and Robbery

HOUSTON - A 24-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to federal prison for 24 years, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Jonathan Soto pleaded guilty Dec. 2, 2020, to aiding and abetting carjacking and two counts of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. ordered him to serve 48 months for the carjacking. He was further sentenced to 120 months on each of the firearms charges to be served consecutively to each other and the underlying offense. The total 288 months will be automatically followed by five years of supervised release.

On Feb. 7, 2019, Soto and others approached a vehicle on the 7500 block of Corporate Drive in Houston and asked if the passengers were in a gang. He ordered them to get out of the car, but they refused. They were subsequently pulled from the vehicle and forced to lay on the ground, face-down. Soto punched one of them in the face. Another victim was able to run away as shots were fired in his direction.

Less than an hour later, Soto acted as a look-out driver during the armed robbery of the Old Irish Pub on the 2300 block of Kirkwood. The robber said “You think this is a joke?” and fired his gun into the ceiling. He then ordered a victim to give him money from the register and safe.

Soto admitted to being the look-out driver for this robbery as well as taking part in the carjacking.

Law enforcement was able to use National Integrated Ballistic Information Network to link shell casings from the carjacking and the robbery,

Soto has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts is prosecuting the case.

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