HOUSTON – A 27-year-old Houston resident is now in custody following charges he robbed a CVS and an Exxon Mobil, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
The criminal complaint, filed today, charges DaVonte Williams with interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He is currently in federal custody and set for an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.
According to the charges, Williams robbed a CVS on Tidwell shortly after doing same at an Exxon Mobil on Eastex Freeway late Jan. 12. Williams allegedly entered the CVS wearing a red ski mask, pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded cash. He then exited the store and entered a Lincoln Town car, according to the charges.
The complaint alleges law enforcement attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused and began a high-speed chase. Eventually, another vehicle was struck which resulted in injuries and deaths, according to the charges. However, the Lincoln Town Car allegedly continued to flee and escaped.
The investigation led to Williams and the suspect Lincoln Town Car, according to the charges.
Authorities later located him and took him into custody.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the robbery. Upon any conviction relating to the gun charges, he must also serve a minimum of seven years that must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; Houston Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety – all members of the Crime Gun Strike Force – conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts 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. It stems from the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.
In May 2021, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a new effort to reduce violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core. Integral to that effort was the reinvigoration of PSN, a two-decade-old, evidence-based, and community-oriented program focused on reducing violent crime. The updated PSN approach, outlined in the department’s Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Violent Crime is guided by four key principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results of our efforts. The fundamental goal is to reduce violent crime, not simply to increase the number of arrests or prosecutions.