Utah man gets nearly 16 years for robbing motel with gun

SAN DIEGO — A Utah man who robbed a Carlsbad Motel 6 at gunpoint only to be arrested two days later attempting to re-enter the United States, was sentenced Monday to nearly 16 years in federal custody.

Lance Lamont Lavert of Salt Lake City, 37, was convicted last month of federal robbery and firearm-related charges in regards to the July 9, 2018, robbery of the motel on Paseo Del Norte.

Prosecutors said Lavert and his girlfriend asked for a room, but were denied due to a lack of ID. He then pointed a gun at the motel clerk and her manager, demanding money. When the clerk and manager ran, he leapt over the counter, kicked in the door of the bathroom where the clerk was hiding, dragged her back to the cash register by her hair and pistol-whipped her in the head, court documents state.

Along with $435 in cash, Lavert and his girlfriend took the clerk’s keys and drove off in her car, prosecutors said.

He was arrested two days later trying to cross the border from Mexico back into the United States. The gun he used in the robbery was found in his waistband.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before returning guilty verdicts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

In addition to the robbery, Lavert was convicted for possession of a gun while having several prior felony convictions, including for arson in Utah and assault with a deadly weapon out of Imperial County, according to court documents.

Lavert’s girlfriend pleaded guilty prior to the trial, according to prosecutors.

“What an excruciating experience for these victims, who were hunted and pistol-whipped by a gunman,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “This is a fitting sentence for a gunman who did not hesitate to attack.”

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