HOUSTON – A 27-year-old unlawfully present Honduran national responsible for multiple violent home invasions was sentenced to 29 years in federal prison Aug. 16 following an investigation conducted by the Houston Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, and FBI Houston.
Denis Matute pleaded guilty to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence on Nov. 2, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg Costa handed Matute a 108-month term of imprisonment for the two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and 120 months for each of the two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence with each sentence to be served consecutively to each other. Following his prison term, Matute is expected to face removal proceedings.
At the hearing, the court heard evidence of the underlying offenses and details surrounding the 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 just brandishing 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. During the hearing, the judge commented on how Matute and his crew carjacked an individual at gunpoint while in route to the robbery.
Matute was also 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.
Matute will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined soon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Collins prosecuted the case.
For more news and information on HSI Houston’s efforts to keep Southeast Texas communities safe from transnational gangs, organized theft groups and other violent criminal activity follow us on Twitter @HSIHouston.
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