Three more defendants, including a woman from Sugar Creek, have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a conspiracy to commit a series of armed robberies by luring their victims with online advertisements and ambushing and robbing them.
Brothers Andrew and Dylan Houston, 29 and 22, respectively, of Kansas City, and 36-year-old Nicole Waguespack were sentenced Thursday in separate appearances in federal court in Kansas City. Dylan Houston was sentenced to 12 years, Andrew Houston seven years and eight months and Waguespack four years and nine months in federal prison without parole.
They are among 10 defendants who have been sentenced in this case, and two more defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Several defendants lived in Eastern Jackson County.
According to court documents, the conspirators posted ads on several websites in order to entice customers to meet at area hotels or homes in the metro area. When customers arrived, conspirators were lying in wait, armed with firearms and weapons that appeared to be firearms. They often committed more than one robbery in a night.
When confronting victims, the conspirators used verbal threats, pointed real and fake guns at them, hit them and intimidated them. Records obtained from social media services and hotels corroborate statements by participants that only a small percentage of the victims called the police to report their robbery. The proceeds of the robberies were divided up and usually used to pay for narcotics or to pay for a room where the co-conspirators could use narcotics.
Waguespack, also known as Nicole Covey, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to her role in the armed robbery conspiracy and five counts of armed robbery. She created dozens of online ads designed to lure men to robberies. When victims arrived, she met the victims at the door. As part of the plan, she then excused herself to the restroom while the other conspirators ambushed the victims.
Dylan Houston pleaded guilty in July 2018. According to court documents, he was one of the enforcers, and he admitted to participating in three armed robberies, including one in which the victim, after being forced into his truck at gunpoint, later jumped out of the moving vehicle while driving at highway speeds, in fear for his life. In another robbery, Houston stole a firearm from a victim that was later used in subsequent robberies.
Andrew Houston pleaded guilty July 2018 to three counts of armed robbery. According to court documents, he served as a lookout for multiple robberies.
The case was investigated by the FBI and Independence police, along with police from Kansas City, North Kansas City and Blue Springs.