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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced for New Years’ Robbery Spree

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

United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Ervin L. Smith, Jr., 25, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced today to 14 years in prison by United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr., following his convictions for robbery and firearms charges.  In addition to his prison term, he will serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Smith was also ordered to pay restitution of $280.00 to Buck’s Inc., $151.55 to Kwik Shop, and $1,000 to Phillip’s 66.

On January 1, 2019, at approximately 5:58 a.m., Christopher Collins, Marcus Evans and Ervin Smith, Jr., while wearing masks and gloves, robbed the Bucky’s at 2901 North 72nd Street, Omaha.  Smith brandished a gun but Collins and Evans knew it was there and being used.  Collins was shouting orders and ordered the employee to the ground.  They left the store with cash, cigarettes and Nebraska lottery tickets.

On January 1, 2019, at approximately 6:16 a.m., Collins, Evans and Smith went into the Kwik Shop at 5929 North 72nd Street.  A gun was threatened but never shown.  The clerk was ordered to lay on the ground.  They left the store with cigarettes, cigars, and Nebraska Lottery tickets.

On January 1, 2019, at approximately 6:31 a.m., Collins, Evans and Smith robbed the Phillip’s 66 at 5920 Sorenson Parkway, Omaha.  Smith was carrying a firearm that Collins and Evans knew was there.  As they were entering the store, a customer, who saw them enter with faces covered, laying a stick in the doorway, had a hunch the store was going to be robbed.  He went to his car and retrieved a firearm, which he was licensed to carry, and re-entered the store.  He demanded Collins, Evans and Smith not to move.  Smith passed Collins his gun and Collins fired several shots in the direction of the customer, before Collins, Evans and Smith left the store taking store money with them. 

They were all caught within 24 hours.  Evans was recognized by a former school employee at a location Evans attended.  Smith was recognized by an Omaha Police Gang Unit officer.  The officer also located a 2013 Facebook picture showing Evans and Smith together. On January 2, 2019, a traffic stop was done of a vehicle Smith was driving. Collins was a passenger.  Collins had attempted to cash in one of the stolen lottery tickets and the clerk of that store recognized and was able to identify him.  

Evans was sentenced to 16 ½ years’ imprisonment for his involvement and Collins was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Omaha Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Great Plains Violent Crime Task Force, comprised of FBI agents, Omaha Police Department detectives, Nebraska State Patrol Investigators and Papillion Police Department Detectives

Updated September 18, 2020

Violent Crime