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FEDS SEND WOMAN TO PRISON FOR ROBBERIES

A 24-year-old Houston woman has been ordered to prison for the armed robbery of two auto parts stores in the Houston area, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Latoya Taylor pleaded guilty Dec. 6, 2017, to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed Taylor a 51-month sentence for the robberies. She also received an additional 84 months for the firearms charge which must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed. The sentences will be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

On April 1, 2017, Taylor robbed the Advance Auto Parts store at 1821 W Mount Houston Rd. She first robbed one employee and then went directly to the next register and pointed the gun at two more employees. All three employees were able to positively identify her as the lone robber. Authorities also discovered the same sunglasses and a hat she was wearing during the robbery after conducting a search of a family member’s residence.

Just a few days later, Taylor entered the AutoZone located at 2202 West 43 St. in Houston. She again pointed the gun at two employees, demanded money and left. Both of the employees were also able to identify Taylor.

She has been and will remained in custody.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Harris County Sherriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Basile is prosecuting the case.

This is an example of coordination between law enforcement who are part of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative which combines personnel and resources from numerous federal, state and local agencies. The goal is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In late 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

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