In Austin today, three defendants made their initial appearance
before a federal magistrate judge on charges related to an armed Austin
jewelry store robbery last week, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash,
FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
A criminal complaint filed on Monday charges 21–year-old Darius Limar
Sonnier, 20-year-old Wallace Diaveon Charles and 18-year-old Tye
Joseph-Phillip Gobert with one count of Interfering with Commerce by
Robbery; one count of Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery;
one count of Using, Carrying, and Discharging a Firearm During and in
Relation to a Crime of Violence; and, one count of Conspiracy to
Use/Carry a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.
The complaint alleges that the defendants, along with other suspects,
entered the Korman Fine Jewelry store located on Burnet Road in Austin
on May 7, 2020, and stole multiple Rolex watches and other items valued
at over $200,000. During the robbery, Sonnier allegedly assaulted and
shot a security guard. The security guard required surgery and is
recovering from his gunshot wound to the abdomen and blunt force trauma
to the head. A female employee was also allegedly struck in the back of
the head with a gun. The complaint also alleges that the defendants
and their co-conspirators caused substantial damage to the jewelry store
estimated at up to $150,000.
Austin Police officers arrested Sonnier, Charles and Gobert in the
vicinity of the jewelry store shortly after the robbery. Authorities
are still looking for the other robbery suspects.
Upon conviction of the charges, the defendants face up to life in federal prison. All three remain in custody at this time.
The FBI and the Austin Police Department are investigating this case
with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives (ATF). Anyone who has information about this robbery or the
other two suspects in this case is asked to contact the FBI at (210)
225-6741 or the Austin Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney
Matthew Devlin is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be
considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent
until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program
bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they
serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for
everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part
of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals,
directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with
federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local
community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce