HOUSTON – A 27-year-old security guard who worked at Cle Nightclub in downtown Houston has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after he was found guilty for robbing the nightclub, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
On June 6, 2022, Hakeem Alexander Coles was convicted of interference with commerce by robbery and discharging a firearm. On Friday, Coles was sentenced to 240 months in prison for robbery and 240 months for the firearms charge, which will be served consecutively. The 40-year prison term will also run consecutively to a 17-year sentence he received in Minnestoa for another robbery and assaulting a federal agent.
Officials said Coles, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, used a false identity to get hired as a security guard for Cle Nightclub, where he worked for about two weeks. Then, after the business closed on Sept. 7, 2019, he robbed the employees at gunpoint and demanded $20,000 cash, prosecutors said.
At trial, the jury heard from witnesses and employees at Cle who described the robbery, and how Coles shot in their direction as he fled the scene.
Coles was later arrested in Louisiana. At that time, he was found in possession of a loaded firearm and the false identification he used to gain employment at Cle. Law enforcement was soon able to uncover his true identity.
The jury also heard evidence of another robbery Coles had committed in Minneapolis three weeks prior to the Cle robbery. In that case, Coles was working as a security guard at Cowboy Jacks Bar and Restaurant and robbed the employees during closing hours as well. Coles pleaded guilty in 2020 and received 17 years in federal prison in that case.
The defense attempted to convince the jury in this case that Coles did not commit the crime and that it was, in fact, the individual whose identity he had stolen. The jury did not believe those claims and found him guilty as charged.
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