Three Houston men have been sentenced to prison in connection with a string of violent robberies at Love’s Travel Stop locations.
On Wednesday, January 5, Christopher Bernard Brown, 39, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Brown pleaded guilty to robbery and assault charges in September 2021.
Brown’s co-conspirators Wesley Jerome Davis, 28, and Kevin Wilson, 33, pleaded guilty in July 2021. Wilson was sentenced to 90 month in federal prison while Davis was sentenced to 60 months. A fourth co-conspirator, Thomas Alec Buckley, 26, is out on bond pending sentencing.
Authorities say that Brown, Davis, Buckley, and Wilson were part of a “violent gang” that threatened or used physical force towards customers or employees to steal or attempt to steal ATMs and the currency they contained from at least nine Love’s Travel Stops throughout Texas and Louisiana between May and September 2019.
From a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas:
The multi-district and interstate Hobbs Act conspiracy occurred between May 29-Sept. 2019. During the robberies, Brown typically served as a scout or lookout while Davis, Wilson, Buckley or others wore masks and gloves and placed straps or chains around the ATMs. Then, a vehicle connected to the chains would accelerate to dislodge the bolted-down machines. Co-conspirators would lift the dislodged ATMs into the waiting vehicle and quickly drive away.
The attempts failed in Angleton, Natalia and Domino. However, the robbery crew was able to obtain monies from the stolen ATMs in Hungerford, Seguin, Lufkin, Cleveland, and Three Rivers as well as Vinton, Louisiana.
In the Three Rivers robbery, co-conspirators came into contact with Love’s employees or customers, at which time Brown stated, “What are you gonna do?!! What are you gonna do?!!” The masked or hooded suspects also made menacing gestures towards the employees. Love’s Travel Stop employees did not intervene with the men for fear of sustaining serious bodily injury.
In Seguin, a good Samaritan attempted to stop the ATM robbery but Davis struck him twice, at which time he fell to the floor and suffered bodily injury from a head wound.
The investigation into the truck stop robberies was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations in partnership with sheriff’s offices in Live Oak, Angelina, Brazoria, Wharton, Medina and Cass Counties and police departments in Angleton, Cleveland, Seguin and Lufkin and Vinton, Louisiana.