Felon who dodged jail time for robberies last year indicted in Las Vegas

Updated May 3, 2017 - 7:54 pm

Brian Wright, the convicted felon who walked free on a string of armed robbery charges last year, was indicted again this week — this time for backing his BMW into a police car when authorities arrested him for violating his probation.

Wright was considered the luckiest felon in Las Vegas last spring when a mistake by U.S. attorneys allowed him to escape prosecution for the jewelry store armed robberies. After a judge blasted federal prosecutors’ failure to produce key documents ahead of trial, Wright emerged with the plea deal of a lifetime: a single firearms conviction and a sentence of supervised release.

His legal troubles since then have resembled a falling row of dominoes. The latest came Tuesday, when a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Wright with a single count of impeding or interfering certain officers or employees.

The charge stems from an incident that occurred in February, when FBI agents went to Wright’s residence to arrest him for violating the terms of his supervised release.

According to legal filings, when authorities kicked down the door of Wright’s dwelling to execute the arrest warrant, the garage door opened and a black BMW sedan “abruptly started and reversed towards the blocking vehicle and the nearby officer.”

The complaint states that Wright, who was driving the BMW, turned sharply to avoid striking the law enforcement vehicle. He was unsuccessful. After hitting the car, he “continued to reverse the car into the law enforcement vehicle until he was surrounded by task force personnel and the vehicle was immobilized,” an FBI special agent wrote in the complaint.

Wright was subsequently arrested for violating the terms of his supervised release. A federal judge sent him back to prison as a result, after finding that he failed several drug tests, associated with criminals and engaged in prostitution-related activities that led to his being charged with pandering.

Wright is scheduled to be arraigned on the interference charge May 11. He has been incarcerated since February, when U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to 21 months in prison.

In a letter to the court in March, Wright dismissed the accusations with an expletive. He referred to his circumstances as a “tragedy of justice” and claimed that he should not get in trouble for associating with criminals as his probation officer never told him he couldn’t talk to his girlfriend. His girlfriend was arrested for prostitution late last year.

The armed robberies occurred in May 2014. Wright was accused of stealing $1.1 million worth of merchandise from area jewelry stores. He faced more than 100 years in prison if convicted.

Wright’s court-appointed attorney, William Gamage, did not return a voicemail message requesting comment.

Wright’s co-defendant, Danielle Perreira, pleaded guilty last year to a single count of “misprision of a felony” after the prosecutorial mistake. She is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in federal court. The charge involves failure to report criminal activity.

“Brian was given a tremendous opportunity when he received probation for a case that exposed him to over 100 years in a federal prison,” said Perreira’s defense attorney, Todd Leventhal. “I personally would have moved into a Buddhist temple to sit and ponder life’s great questions, like, ‘Does karma exist?’ ”

Contact Jenny Wilson at jenwilson@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter.

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