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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 10 1/2-Year Prison Term For Series of Hold-Ups of Convenience Stores

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Crimes Took Place Last Summer

            WASHINGTON – Melvin Smith, 45, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a 10 ½-year prison term for a series of robberies of convenience stores last summer in Northeast and Northwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Peter Newsham, Interim Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


            Smith pled guilty in November 2016 to three counts of robbery and was sentenced today in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Honorable Danya A. Dayson. Following completion of his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.


            In entering his guilty plea, Smith admitted to robbing six convenience stores in just over four weeks. According to the government’s evidence, the robberies included these crimes:


-Aug. 19, 2016, approximately 1:40 a.m.: Smith entered a 7-Eleven store in the 1200 block of Brentwood Road NE, approached a store clerk, and demanded access to the cash register. He then took approximately $50 before fleeing.


-Sept. 6, 2016, approximately 10:55 p.m.: Smith entered the 7-Eleven store in the 1300 block of Second Street NE. He approached a cashier and reached into two cash registers, taking approximately $430 before fleeing.


- Sept. 10, 2016, approximately 2:10 a.m.: Smith entered the 7-Eleven store in the 4800 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE and displayed an object on his right hip, which store personnel believed to be a handgun. He proceeded to the cash registers, demanded that they be opened, and took an unspecified amount of cash before fleeing.


-Sept. 12, 2016, approximately 8:45 p.m.: Smith entered the 6 & Q Market, in the 500 block of Q Street NW. Wearing a mask, he ordered a store clerk to the cash register. When the clerk responded that he did not have a key to the register, Smith grabbed the entire register, which contained an unknown amount of cash, and fled.


-Sept. 13, 2016, approximately 1:30 a.m.: Smith returned to the 7-Eleven on Second Street NE. According to a store clerk, he was carrying what appeared to be a silver gun in his waistband and demanded cash from the cash register. Smith then removed approximately $100 from the store’s two cash registers and fled.


-Sept. 18, 2016, approximately 9:45 p.m.: Smith entered a 7-Eleven store in the 900 block of Bladensburg Road NE. Wearing a mask, he displayed what the clerk believed to be a dark gun in his waistband and demanded that the clerk open the register. Smith then proceeded to take money from both of the registers, before fleeing.


            Smith was arrested on Sept. 19, 2016. When he was arrested, Smith was found to be in possession of a unique mask and bandana that surveillance video confirmed were used in the robberies. He has been in custody since his arrest. The guilty plea specified the offenses that were committed on Aug. 19, Sept. 6, and Sept. 12, 2016.


            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Acting Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Barker, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated January 12, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-009