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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Ohio
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Columbus Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A local man was sentenced in U.S. District Court here today to 120 months in prison for a January 2019 armed robbery.

Michael John Smith, 29, of Columbus, pointed a pistol at two store clerks at the Circle K on Hall Road in Columbus on Jan. 27, 2019. Smith demanded money from the register and threatened to kill both women if they moved. Smith fled the store on foot with $280 in cash.

According to court documents, Smith was also involved in another armed robbery in March 2019 at a Dollar General. The same gun used in both robberies was recovered in a car that was involved in a shooting on the highway near Circleville that same month. Smith and several individuals – including a 1-year-old child – had been in the vehicle on the highway.

In its sentencing memorandum, the United States noted Smith’s extensive criminal history with multiple convictions beginning in 2014. In prior crimes, Smith shot two individuals in the head.

“While all threats of violence should be taken seriously, there is an elevated sense of danger inherent in someone who brandishes a gun and threatens to kill people, and whose past actions demonstrate no reluctance in pulling the trigger,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “A significant term of imprisonment is warranted in this case.”

Smith was charged by criminal complaint and arrested in January 2019. He pleaded guilty in March 2023 to committing robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Kenneth L. Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant; Fairfield County Sheriff Alex Lape; and Col. Charles A. Jones, Superintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah D. Morrison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Pakiz is representing the United States in this case.


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