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Houston man sentenced to 25 years after string of Metro PCS robberies

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HOUSTON – A 20-year-old resident of Houston has received a major federal sentence following his convictions on four counts of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery and three counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Jamal Tyrea Allen pleaded guilty Jan. 31, admitting to four robberies that occurred in April 2018 and the related firearms offenses.

Today, U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison ordered Allen to serve a total of 48 months for his role in the robberies. He also received an 84-month sentence for the first firearms charge and another 168 months for the subsequent brandishing charges to be served consecutively to each other and the other term imposed. The total 25-year prison sentence will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.

On or about April 9, 2018, Allen entered the Metro PCS located on Long Point Road in Houston where he pointed a pistol at an employee. He took money from the register and demanded to know where iPhones were located. The employee said they were out, and Allen eventually fled with the cash.

Five days later, he entered another Metro PCS on Woodforest Boulevard and again pointed a firearm at another employee, demanding iPhones. When the cashier said he did not know where they were, Allen chambered a round into the firearm and continued making demands. He found the phones, then fled with them as well as stolen cash.

Allen robbed another Metro PCS April 24, 2018, where he also made violent threats. He walked into the Little York Road location, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at a female employee, stating “You need to find me money or I am going to kill you.” When she informed him they did not have any iPhones, he got increasingly angry and threatened to kill her. She gave him money from the cash register while he was still pointing his firearm and making death threats.

Finally, on April 27 the same year, he arrived at Metro PCS on Airline Drive and made similar demands and threats. There, he pointed a firearm to the head of an employee, saying he was not playing and that he would shoot him. Once a second cashier entered the lobby, Allen made them get money from the cash register and forced both to the store’s back room at gunpoint.

After leaving the store, law enforcement stopped Allen, found the money and iPhones in the car and took him into custody.   

He 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 FBI and Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts is prosecuting the case.

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