Bank robbers sentenced

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The three men from central North Carolina responsible for the 2011 robbery of an armored vehicle in Washington have been sentenced by a federal judge.

On Tuesday, Lenard Cornelius Smith, of Timberlake, was the last of the three to be sentenced. Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox, gave Smith as sentence of 154 months in prison and five years of supervised release for his role in the robbery that took place at an ATM adjacent to the Carolina Avenue branch of Bank of America, according to a press release from Don Connelly, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, eastern North Carolina District.

The other men involved in the crime were sentenced previously: Emmanuel Wallace III, of Hurdle Mills, to 252 months in prison; Charles Richard Moore Jr., also of Timberlake, to 171 months in prison.

On the morning of June 23, 2011, the three men disarmed two Garda Cash Logistics guards as they were servicing Bank of America’s ATM at Washington Square Mall. Smith, wielding a firearm, took over $1 million from the Garda armored vehicle. Bank of America’s branch was closed for several hours that day as Washington police, State Bureau of Investigation and FBI agents investigated the robbery.

All three men were arrested in early 2012. According to the press release, only $250,000 in robbery proceeds have been recovered.

According to Lt. William Chrismon, spokesman for the Washington Police Department, the robbery was an inside job.

On the day of the heist, Moore was working as the driver of the Garda armored vehicle. He, Smith and Wallace worked together to pull off the robbery.

Chrismon said that in his 23 years with the police department, an armed robbery of this magnitude has only occurred the one time.

“This was the first and, hopefully, the last,” he said.