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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gunman In Armed Robbery Spree Exiled To 25 Years In Prison

Brandished a Gun in All 22 Robberies and Shot a Customer in One Robbery

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Hatratico Smith, age 48, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 25 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a series of armed commercial robberies committed from January through June, 2012. Smith brandished a gun in all of the robberies and shot a customer during one of the robberies.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts.

According to Smith=s plea agreement, from January 22, 2012 through June 11, 2012, he conspired with Rico Bias, Monzell Lee and others, to commit 22 robberies of convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and other businesses. Smith brandished a gun during the robberies, and on two occasions fired the gun, including on February 21, 2012, which resulted in the shooting of a customer. Lee participated in four of the robberies and Bias admitted that in addition to checking out the stores prior to his codefendants entering the businesses to commit the robberies, he obtained and drove the get away car in each of the robberies. The defendants have been in federal custody since their arrests.

Rico Bias, age 34, and Monzell Lee, age 20, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies. Bias was sentenced to 185 months in prison and Lee was sentenced to nine years in prison for the four robberies in which he participated.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney A. David Copperthite, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015