Former Brinks Employee Convicted Of Armed Robbery and Conspiracy to Rob Armored Trucks
SAVANNAH, GA: On Thursday, May 17, 2018, following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, a federal jury convicted Savannah residents Joshua Scott, 22, and Victor Natson, 27, of conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by robbing armored trucks. Natson was also convicted of aiding and abetting robbery, attempted robbery, and the discharge and brandishing of firearms during crimes of violence. Scott was convicted of robbery and firearm brandishing charges.
According to the evidence presented at trial, during the summer of 2016, Natson recruited a multi-convicted felon and gang member, Gregory Lamar Plair, 33, to rob armored trucks operated by Brinks, Inc. in Savannah. After Natson encouraged Plair to commit the robberies with a firearm, Plair sought the assistance of his first cousin, Scott, who Plair knew had access to stolen firearms. At the time that the defendants hatched their plan, Natson had worked for Brinks as a truck driver for nearly two years. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Natson provided Scott and Plair with information about Brinks’ routes, personnel, and procedures. On October 14, 2016, Natson drove the robbers to the intersection of White Bluff Road and Tibet Avenue so that they could rob Brinks employees servicing a SunTrust ATM near that location. During the robbery, approximately $35,000 was stolen, and a semiautomatic pistol was discharged. Natson received a share of the money and drove the getaway car. On January 30, 2017, Scott and Plair attempted to rob a Brinks armored truck parked at a storage facility near the intersection of Abercorn Street and the Truman Parkway. Minutes before Scott and Plair approached the truck with two loaded guns drawn, Natson sent a text message to Plair instructing him to “look for the truck with old white guy in it,” referring to the 71-year-old Brinks driver who Natson had set up to be robbed. When Scott and Plair accosted the driver, another Brinks employee shot at and wounded both of the would-be robbers. Plair drove himself to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment; Scott was transported to Memorial Medical Center by ambulance. Both men were arrested shortly thereafter. A federal grand jury indicted Natson in June 2017 for his role in conspiring with and aiding and abetting Scott and Plair.
In August 2017, Plair pled guilty to federal robbery, attempted robbery, and firearm brandishing charges. Only Natson and Scott proceeded to trial. All three defendants are awaiting sentencing.
On the conspiracy, robbery, attempted robbery, and aiding-and-abetting charges, the defendants face terms of imprisonment of up to 20 years, fines of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Scott and Plair also face at least seven years in prison for brandishing firearms during the January 2017 attempted robbery. For aiding and abetting the discharge and brandishing of firearms, Natson will be sentenced to not less than 35 years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence. Under federal law, each of the firearms offenses can be punished by life imprisonment, and parole has been abolished in the federal system.
United States Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated, “With inside information from Victor Natson, Joshua Scott and Gregory Plair thought armored cars easy targets. Because of their criminal acts Scott and Plair were both shot, and now will serve lengthy prison sentences. Victor Natson will go to prison for decades. The prosecution of these three predators should put all criminals on notice that the United States Attorney’s Office will ensure those who perpetrate violence will serve hard time.”
“The brazen nature of these armed robberies created extraordinarily dangerous situations, putting the lives of the victims, innocent bystanders, and the robbers own lives at risk,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Because of the hard work of the FBI and its law enforcement partners, each of these suspects will serve lengthy prison sentences and will no longer be a threat to our hard working and innocent citizens.”
Mark Revenew, Interim Chief of the Savannah Police Department, said, “This prosecution and conviction portray the importance of our partnership with our federal law enforcement counterparts in eradicating dangerous individuals from our community.”
The investigation of Natson, Scott, and Plair’s crimes was led by FBI Southeast GA Violent Crimes Task Force and the former Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Various law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Southern University Police Department Cyber Forensics Division, FBI Southeast Georgia Violent Crimes Task Force, FBI Cellular Analysis and Survey Team, U.S. Marshals Service, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences, provided assistance.
Assistant United States Attorneys E. Greg Gilluly, Jr., and Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.