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Leader of robbery crew gets 17 years in federal prison

Updated March 21, 2019 - 7:15 pm

A man prosecutors said headed an armed robbery crew linked to holdups in Las Vegas and three other states was sentenced Thursday to more than 17 years in federal prison.

Cortez Harris, 29, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, two counts of interference with commerce by robbery, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence for a pair of same-day holdups, according to court records.

With the 210-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II ordered that Harris also receive five years of supervised release.

In July 2017, Harris, Leonard Tremillo Jr., Janellcie Gibbons and a juvenile robbed an Advance America location on South Rainbow Boulevard, according to the Department of Justice. Harris aimed a firearm at customers in the lobby before he and the juvenile stepped behind the counter, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint. Harris aimed the weapon at an employee and told the person to open the safe, the complaint said.

After the victim handed Harris money from the safe, he demanded more from another section of the safe, the complaint said, before “he pointed the gun at her head, and threatened to kill her.” The crew escaped with $1,626.

Less than 40 minutes later, Harris and the others held up Koster’s Cash and Loans on east Bonanza Road.

Harris told an employee not to call the police while he held a firearm to her head, according to the complaint. Harris pistol-whipped the victim, and the robbers stole $4,838, fleeing in a getaway car driven by Gibbons, the complaint said.

Surveillance video from both businesses helped authorities identify Harris and the others, who were linked to armed robberies in Utah, Texas, and Colorado during that same month.

Tremillo has been sentenced to 108 months in prison; Gibbons was sentenced to 87 months in prison; and the juvenile was sentenced to an undisclosed amount of time in Texas for a related robbery.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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