HOUSTON – A 27-year-old Honduran national who illegally resided in the Houston area has been ordered to prison for 29 years, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Denis Matute pleaded guilty Nov, 2021.
Today, U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg Costa handed Matute a 108-month term of imprisonment for the two counts of interference with commerce by robbery. He also received 120 months for each of two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence which must be served consecutively to each other and to the other sentence imposed. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the lengthy 348-month total prison term.
At the hearing, the court heard evidence of the underlying offenses as well as the details surrounding three additional murders and two home invasions Matute had committed. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the sadistic method Matute used toward the victim of one of the home invasions and that this case was much more than mere brandishing of a firearm.
Matute was part of a robbery crew that was involved in several crimes, to include two violent robberies during which they brandished firearms. One occurred at the A1 Flea Market in Houston. There, the crew handcuffed a security guard and proceeded to kick him while down. They then robbed two separate booths and pointed guns at multiple individuals.
At the hearing today, the judge commented on how en route to the robbery, the crew had also carjacked an individual at gunpoint.
Matute had also been convicted for his role in the robbery of the R&R Pawn Shop in January 2017. During that robbery, the crew pointed guns at employees’ heads before breaking the glass and stealing multiple items to include expensive Rolex watches.
He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Houston Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Collins prosecuted the case.