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Las Vegas man convicted of two jewelry store armed robberies in January 2017

Posted at 10:38 AM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 13:39:40-05

A Las Vegas man was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury of all criminal charges for his role in planning and participating in the armed robbery of two jewelry store in January 2017.

Brian Wright, 34, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to interference with commerce by robbery, two counts of interference with commerce by robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. United States District Judge Jennifer Dorsey scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 18.

Wright, who represented himself at trial, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each robbery count. He faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the first firearm count to run consecutive to all other counts and a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison on the subsequent firearm count to run consecutive to all other counts.

During the six-day jury trial, prosecutors introduced evidence proving that Wright planned and recruited multiple gunmen and getaway drivers to rob the Jared Gallery of Jewelry, located at 2110 N. Rainbow Blvd., on Jan. 3, 2017, and the MJ Christensen jewelry store, located at 8980 W. Charleston Blvd., on Jan. 13, 2017. During the Jared’s robbery, Wright provided a firearm to co-conspirator Deandre Nakita Brown to use during the robbery. Brown and co-conspirator Aquail Harris entered the Jared pointing their firearms towards employees and customers. One of the store customers was a father with his 1- and 3-year-old children in the store.

The gunmen disarmed the security guard and stole over $850,000 worth of jewelry and watches. They delivered the stolen merchandise to a separate getaway vehicle driven by co-conspirators Kendareen Hudson and Safiyyah Christopher. Wright utilized police scanner apps to monitor police radio traffic after the robbery and relayed this information to his co-conspirators. However, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers found the females’ vehicle with the stolen merchandise. They arrested the two females and recovered all of the jewelry.

Ten days later, on Jan. 13, 2017, Wright planned and participated in the robbery of the MJ Christensen jewelry store. Again, Wright recruited others to help him carry out the robbery. He recruited co-conspirator Carl Whitley to procure a getaway car and driver and Brown to serve as a gunman. Wright obtained Whitley’s gun and provided it to Brown to use in the robbery. They stole over $700,000 worth of jewelry and watches. Wright again utilized police scanner apps to monitor police radio traffic after the robbery and relayed this information to his co-conspirators.

An off-duty officer outside the jewelry store, however, observed the robber get into a vehicle driven by co-conspirator Randy Jerousek and followed this car to the Suncoast hotel-casino. The vehicle was quickly located parked at the casino with the stolen merchandise in it.

Co-conspirators Harris, Christopher, Hudson, Jerousek, Whitley, and Brown all previously pleaded guilty for their involvement in the armed robberies. Sentencing for Brown is set for Feb. 25, sentencing for Whitley is set for Jan. 22, sentencing for Jerousek is set for Feb. 7 and sentencing for Christopher is set for Jan. 14.

Wright was also convicted earlier this year of assault on a federal officer. A jury found Wright guilty of that offense after hearing evidence that Wright attempted to flee his residence while law enforcement was attempting to execute a search warrant. In his haste to flee, Wright rammed his car into a law enforcement vehicle that a task force officer was standing next to, nearly striking the officer. Sentencing is set in that case on Jan. 15. Wright also represented himself during that trial.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.