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Man convicted of robbing pharmacy in Pineville

A Charlotte man was convicted by a federal jury Monday of robbing a Pineville pharmacy at gunpoint last September.

Antonio Donte Smith, 29, had been charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His conviction ended a three-day trial in which Smith had claimed that his brother committed the robbery, prosecutors said.

According to trial documents and witnesses, Smith entered a Rite Aid pharmacy Sept. 4, 2012, pointed a .45-caliber handgun at the clerk, and demanded money. While waiting for the money, prosecutors said, Smith turned the gun at a customer who was approaching the counter, ordered the customer to his knees and robbed him of his wallet.

Prosecutors said Smith also forced the store manager to turn over all the money in the safe.

Smith’s getaway vehicle was spotted a short time later by police, and he abandoned the car after allegedly running two red lights and hitting another vehicle. Prosecutors say Smith ran into a wooded area, dropping his gun and mask. He was found a short time later at a nearby apartment complex by a police K-9 dog search unit.

According to prosecutors, Smith tried to flee again but was stopped when the police dog bit him in the thigh.

Smith faces a minimum of 22 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Smith was convicted in 2002 of four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Twitter: @slyttle
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