Bank robberies get local man significant federal prison time
A 26-year-old Houston man is headed to federal prison following his convictions related to the 2019 robberies of a BBVA Compass Bank in Friendswood and Texas First Bank in Galveston, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Tremaine Venters pleaded guilty Oct. 30, 2019, to two counts of aiding and abetting bank robbery and aiding and abetting brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Today, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown handed Venters a 57-month sentence for the robbery. He also received an additional 168 months for the firearms charge which must be served consecutively to the other sentence imposed for a total 225-month term of imprisonment. At the hearing, the court noted his prior felony offenses and criminal history as well as the necessity of keeping society safe from individuals committing offenses with guns.
On Jan. 3, 2019, Venters entered the BBVA Compass Bank in Friendswood along with Jordan Johnson. Both men approached the counter, placed guns in front of tellers and demanded money. The tellers complied and Venters and Johnson exited the bank.
Less than two weeks later, Venters and Johnson also robbed the Texas First Bank in Galveston with a firearm. Venters walked up to the teller counter and tossed bag on the counter. Simultaneously, Johnson placed a gun on the counter and demanded “hundreds and fifties” from a teller.
He then walked over to another teller station and said “I need hundreds.” That teller mistakenly believed he just wanted to make a withdrawal and reached for a withdrawal slip. At that time, Johnson said “no” and tapped his gun on the teller counter. She then opened her cash drawer, at which time Johnson told her to just give him the whole drawer. He put the money in a plastic grocery bag, and both men left.
Bank employees were able to get a vehicle description and a license plate number. Authorities then saw a car matching the description traveling across the causeway from Galveston.
They were soon arrested. Inside the vehicle, law enforcement found a firearm and cash belonging to First Texas Bank.
Jordan Johnson, 27, Houston, also pleaded guilty and is pending sentencing June 24.
Both men have been and will remain in custody.
The FBI Violent Crime Task Force and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts is prosecuting the case.