Kenton Deon Harrell, 41, Kenneth Shane Howard, 34, and Malcolm Derrail Williams, 32, have been handed their sentences following their convictions of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury convicted Harrell following four days of trial and approximately three hours of deliberation in June 2014, while the other two had previously entered guilty pleas as did a fourth defendant ‘ Charles Ray Blake, 41. All are from Houston.
Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller handed Howard Harrell a total sentence of 135 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Howard and Williams received respective sentences of 151 and 77 months, also to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. While the court did not impose a fine as a part of any of their sentences, each defendant is responsible for payment to the U.S. Post Office and the actual victim of the robbery restitution in the combined amount of $94,068. Blake will be sentenced Dec. 12.
At the trial, the jury heard that on or about Feb. 21, 2013, Harrell met with Blake and Howard to plan the robbery of a contract postal vehicle. The three men had received information that the vehicle contained more than $2 million in cash and precious metals. Evidence at trial showed that the three men had been provided with a description of the vehicle, the route it would be taking and the time the vehicle would leave the post office in downtown Houston.
According to testimony, the co-conspirators acted on that information and stopped the vehicle as planned as it entered onto I-10 from downtown Houston. They forcibly removed the driver at gun point and drove the vehicle to a location where they removed jewelry worth approximately $240,000.
Howard, Williams and Harrell will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Blake was permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing.This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Richard D. Hanes and Sharad Khandelwal prosecuted the case.