A 21-year-old Florida man faces life in prison following his conviction on charges of armed robbery at a gun shop in 2018, prosecutors said.
Jaquez Smith faces an enhanced penalty during a sentencing hearing later this month because he committed the crime within three years of his prison release, Volusia County State Attorney's Office spokesman Spencer Hathaway said in a news release.
The release said Smith has nine prior felony convictions on similar charges, including grand theft, burglary and grand theft auto.
Smith drove four other teens to SWUB Tactical in DeLand and waited in the stolen car while they stole 18 firearms, including handguns, shotguns and AR-10 and AR-15 rifles, prosecutors said.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were conducting surveillance on the stolen car and took the group into custody during a traffic stop, an affidavit said. The deputies recovered all but one of the stolen firearms.
“We are fortunate that the defendants were caught and 17 firearms were recovered," State Attorney R. J. Larizza. “You can bet those firearms would have been put on the street and used for criminal activities."
Smith is awaiting sentencing at the Volusia County Jail.