GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Thursday, June 11, 2020, a judge in federal district court sentenced a High Point resident, DAVID CURTIS SMITH, to a 319-month prison term, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.
SMITH, age 59, pleaded guilty on October 17, 2019, to all four charges in the Indictment, including Hobbs Act robbery, carjacking, use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and arson.
Evidence in the records shows that on October 20, 2018, between approximately 9:30 and 9:45 p.m., SMITH and an accomplice entered the Stop and Shop Mart in Clemmons, North Carolina, as the store clerk was cleaning and preparing to close for the night. The accomplice told the clerk to open the cash register. When the clerk refused, SMITH brandished a pistol and told the clerk to do what they said. The clerk complied and opened the cash register. The clerk was held at gunpoint while the other suspect stole cash and over $1,000 in tobacco products. The suspects then bound the clerk’s hands and feet with zip ties and moved him to the back office. One of the suspects then doused the victim and the back office in diesel fuel. One of the suspects then lit a paper towel with a lighter and threw it onto the fuel. The two suspects then poured more diesel fuel onto the floor of the store and attempted to set the store on fire. The suspects then took the victim’s car keys. Prior to leaving, they locked the security gates at the front of the store, using a chain and padlock. One of the suspects stole the victim’s 2011 Ford pickup truck that was parked outside.
The store clerk was able to break the zip ties around his legs and get to the front door. After he saw the suspects leaving, he was able to get between the doors and the security gates to yell for help. Early in the morning of October 21, 2018, the clerk’s truck was located on an access ramp to Interstate 40 near Farmington Road and Rainbow Road. The interior of the vehicle was soaked with diesel fuel and there was material smoldering on the front seat and in the gasoline fill pipe.
SMITH and his accomplice were arrested on November 2, 2018, in Whytheville, Virginia.
At sentencing, United States District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs imposed an aggregate 235-month prison term on three of the four counts, and an 84-month term for brandishing a weapon, to run consecutive to all prior sentences. SMITH was also ordered to pay $366,989.07 in restitution and to serve a 5-year period of federal supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Forsyth County Fire Marshal Office, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Wythe County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Graham T. Green.