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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg , United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, August 8, 2022

Tampa Area Man Arrested for Robbing Businesses While Brandishing a Firearm

Tampa, FL - United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Donald Robert Smith (27, Tampa) with two Hobbs Act robberies and brandishing a firearm during the commission of those robberies. If convicted, Smith faces up to 20 years for each robbery. The firearm charges will carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 7 years, and up to, life in prison consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.

According to the complaint, on August 1, 2022, Smith robbed a restaurant in Tampa. While the restaurant employee was preparing a soft drink for Smith, Smith pointed a firearm at the employee and demanded money. Two days later, on August 3, 2022, Smith robbed a retail establishment in Tampa. He approached a store employee who was at the cash register, pointed a firearm at them, and demanded money from the register.

This case was investigated by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Newman.

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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