Two Men Antonio Smith and Michael J. Aikens Plead Guilty to Respective Robbery and Firearms Crimes
(STL.News) – Two Richmond men pleaded guilty today to their respective charges in separate cases in federal court.
“The wheels of justice continue to turn,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The resolve and dedication of our staff and law enforcement partners on the front lines is nothing short of tremendous. Rather than wait for this pandemic to end to get back to work, we are doing our best to work through it and ensure the safety of the public and communities we serve.”
“The work of the FBI does not stop, even during this unprecedented period of national emergency,” said David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “Together with our partners, our investigations and our operations will continue. FBI Richmond is fully committed to the mission of protecting Americans and upholding the Constitution.”
Antonio Smith, 52, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. According to court documents, Smith fled as Richmond Police officers approached him regarding a request for him to vacate a residence in the 2500 block of Bethel Street in Richmond. After refusing commands to stop, Smith threw firearms through an open passenger window of an occupied vehicle parked on Bethel Street. After Smith was detained, Richmond Police recovered two firearms from the vehicle, one of which was a Ruger, Mode LCP II, .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol. At the time of the incident, Smith had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited for possessing firearms.
Smith and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on October 8.
In a separate case, Michael J. Aikens, 33, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting robbery and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during and in relation to a robbery. According to court documents, Aikens assisted Christopher Tatum in robbing Brothers Market in Henrico in April 2019. On the day before the robbery, Aikens identified and scouted the location for Tatum and relayed to Tatum vital information about the store, such as the number of customers typically in the store, the number of employees working in the store, and the available entrances and exits. Tatum previously pleaded guilty in a related case and admitted to committing the April 24 robbery, along with six others.
Aikens faces a mandatory minimum prison term of seven years in prison when sentenced on October 7.
Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division; David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; William C. Smith, Chief of Richmond Police; and Humberto I. Cardounel, Jr., Chief of Henrico County Police Division, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter S. Duffey and Stephen E. Anthony and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Holli R. Wood are prosecuting the cases.