Wednesday, September 16, 2009

“Career Criminal” Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robbery

ARTHANIEL SMITH JR., 37, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Rome to the armed bank robbery of the Wachovia Bank at 4580 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway in Hiram, Georgia. Classified as an armed “career criminal,” because of an extensive criminal history, SMITH agreed to a sentence of over 40 years in prison.

Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Today a career offender has been removed from the society he has victimized for more than fifteen years. This defendant’s long confinement in federal prison ensures that Georgia citizens will not again fall prey to his violent crimes.”

Gregory Jones, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, said, “The FBI is relieved to have such a career offender off the streets. I commend the observant witness who relayed vital information in this case to the responding law enforcement officers. It is this type of community involvement and partnership with law enforcement that will help keep their communities safe.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates and the information presented in court: SMITH admitted that on March 2, 2009, he and another male unlawfully entered the Wachovia Bank at 4580 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway in Hiram, Georgia and hid inside the bank. The following morning, when the first employee of the day entered the bank, SMITH and his cohort, armed with handguns, confronted the employee and demanded money contained in the Bank's vault. After obtaining the funds, both men fled from the bank to a waiting vehicle. A concerned citizen observed the men flee the bank and reported the make, model and tag number of their vehicle. SMITH and his cohort were stopped by a Paulding County Sheriff's Deputy within ten minutes. All of the bank's funds were recovered from the vehicle, along with the gloves, masks and handguns used by the robbers. Both men subsequently confessed to committing the crime.

SMITH will be sentenced by United States District Court Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr. on December 17, 2009 at 10 a.m.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI.

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