PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (WJZ) — A Princess Anne man was sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison for brandishing a firearm during and in furtherance of the armed robbery of an armored vehicle in Salisbury.

Ryan Smith, 39, of Princess Anne, was sentenced to 141 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to commit the robbery of an armored vehicle in Salisbury, on Jan. 22, 2018, for participating in the robbery and for brandishing a firearm during and in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Smith pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the robbery and to participating in the robbery. A federal jury convicted him of brandishing the firearm.

At around 7:15 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2018, Smith and co-defendants approached the driver of the armored vehicle as he was removing cash cassettes from an ATM machine at a credit union on Mt. Hermon Road.

Co-defendant Michael Watts placed a .40-caliber handgun to the driver’s head and disarmed the victim of his service weapon. Watts testified that he got the .40-caliber handgun from Smith, which was named “Big Nasty,” and that Smith took the gun back after the robbery.

Watts then grabbed the driver by the hair and order him to open the door of the armored vehicle. After the driver opened the door, Smith and another co-defendant removed several bags of money from the vehicle, as well as ATM cassettes filled with cash.

Watts later forced the driver into the vehicle, where he used zip ties to secure his hands. They then fled with the money, stealing a total of $1,324,288.

The robbers went to Smith’s residence in nearby Princess Anne and divided the stolen money. South and Watts then left and headed toward North Carolina.

On April 20, 2018, Orneth South, age 49, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested on a warrant issued as a result of the robbery. He pleaded guilty to his role in the armored car robbery in Maryland, as well as a robbery in North Carolina.

On January 31, 2019, Watts, 42, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to his role in the robbery.

Watts was arrested on May 18, 2018, in Queens, New York, and at the time of his arrest, was wearing about $70,000 in jewelry. He also admitted using his portion of the stolen money to purchase a Mercedes S430 automobile, clothes, two tombstones, and to pay off bills and rent.

The judge in the case ordered all three defendants to pay restitution in the full amount of the victim’s loss, $1,324,288.


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