FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A Pennsylvania man was sentenced more than seven years in prison for taking part in a violent kidnapping and robbery at a Fairfield jewelry store in 2013.
Jeffrey Houston, 30, of Allenton, Penn. was sentenced to 90 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised released, according to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for the district of Connecticut.
On April 11, 2013, Houston, along with Kasam Hennix, William Davis and Christopher Gay, broke into an apartment in Meriden and bound four people with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets, Daly said. All four men were wearing masks and gloves, and two of them were armed with handguns.
After breaking in, Houston, Hennix and Davis forced two of the victims into a victim's car and drove to Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, where the two victims worked, Daly said. Another suspect, Timothy Forbes, traveled to Fairfield in a separate car and Gay remained in the Meriden apartment to guard the two other victims.
After Houston, Hennix and Davis arrived at the store in Fairfield, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds, all worth a total of more than $3 million. They then fled in the victim's car, leaving the two victims behind tied up in the store. They abandoned the victim's car and got into Forbes's car, then called Gay to let them know that the robbery was successful and he should leave, according to Daly. Theythen fled the state.
All five were arrested in May 2013. According to court documents, the investigators determined that Houston, Forbes and Gay had traveled from Pennsylvania to Connecticut on several occasions in the weeks prior to the robbery in order to track the victims' movements between the jewelry store in Fairfield and the Meriden apartment. Forbes and Gay also placed a GPS in one of the victims' cars in order to make it easier to track them.
Houston pleaded guilty on Dec. 8, 2015 to one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Forbes, Hennix, Davis and Gay also pleaded guilty to federal charges. Davis was sentenced to 176 months in prison, Gay was sentenced to 102 months in prison, and Hennix was sentenced to 171 months in prison. Forbes awaits sentencing.