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Press Release

Tampa Man Sentenced To 24 Years In Federal Prison For Committing Three Armed Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Donald Robert Smith (29, Tampa) to 24 years in federal prison for three separate Hobbs Act robberies, brandishing a firearm during and in relation to one of the robberies, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to another of the robberies. As part of his plea agreement, Smith has agreed to forfeit the firearm used in the offenses.

According to court documents, on August 1, 2022, Smith robbed a Tampa business pointing a firearm at business employees. Two days later, Smith robbed another Tampa business by pointing a firearm at the cashier and demanding money. During the investigation into the first two robberies, a search warrant for Smith’s vehicle was executed. Inside the vehicle, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives located a Taurus 9mm handgun. This firearm was then linked by a shell casing to another robbery on August 1, 2022. During this robbery, Smith approached an individual as he was turning in his work truck for the night. Smith approached the victim and demanded his wallet. As Smith walked away, he discharged the firearm.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Newman. The forfeiture is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney James Muench.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated June 25, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses