SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was sentenced to 20 years in prison this week for conspiracy to commit armed robbery this week after pleading guilty to his role in a pair of armed robberies in 2010.
U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake this week sentenced Christopher Foster, 32, of Salisbury, also known as “Capone,” to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and brandishing a gun in the furtherance of a crime of violence in connection with armed robberies in Salisbury in 2010.
According to Foster’s plea agreement, from April to June 2010, he conspired with Charles Ayres, 22, of Snow Hill, and Angela Furniss, 29, of Salisbury, to commit armed robberies of businesses and individuals. On April 29, for example, Foster and Ayres entered a convenience store in Salisbury wearing ski masks and black clothing and threatened store employee. A firearm was brandished and an employee was injured and physically restrained during the robbery.
On May 10, 2010, Foster and Ayres robbed a marijuana dealer on Arthur Court in Salisbury. During the incident, Foster brandished a sawed-off shotgun, while Ayres threatened and robbed the victim. In his plea arrangement, Foster admitted his role in the robbery of the dealer and admitted later selling the marijuana for profit. Furniss was also implicated in the two armed robberies.
Foster and Furniss fled to Florida following the robberies, but were later extradited to Maryland to face state and federal charges. This week, Foster was sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised probation. Ayres and Furniss previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the armed robbery spree. Ayres was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Furniss was sentenced to just over two years.
Meanwhile, in a separate trial this week in U.S. District Court, a Lewes, Del. man pleaded guilty to two bank robberies in Salisbury and a third in Seaford, Del., in 2009 and 2010 and now faces as many as 60 years in prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office this week announced Robert Joseph McLaughlin, 39, of Lewes, admitted to robbing three banks across Delmarva in 2009 and 2010. In December 2009, McLaughlin entered the Citizens Bank in Seaford and demanded the tellers fill a plastic bag he had brought with him with money. According to police reports, the tellers filled the bag with nearly $1,700 in currency along with dye packs. McLaughlin took the bag of money and removed the dye packs before leaving the bank.
On Feb. 27, 2010, McLaughlin entered the Shore Bank on South Salisbury Blvd., patted his pockets and mumbled he had forgotten something. He returned a short time later, now wearing a baseball cap and glasses, and demanded money from a teller, who handed over nearly $4,000 in cash. On Aug. 3, 2010, McLaughlin repeated the same basic robbery at the Farmers Bank of Willards on Milford Street in Salisbury.
He was later arrested and charged with each of the robberies. This week, McLaughlin pleaded guilty to the three robberies and now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each. As part of the plea agreement, McLaughlin has also been ordered to pay restitution for the full amount of the losses totaling $7,448. Sentencing has been set for Feb. 24 in U.S. District Court.
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein commended several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for their respective roles in the investigation and apprehension of McLaughlin and the aforementioned armed robbery cases including the FBI, the Salisbury Police Department, the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office, the Wicomico State’s Attorney’s Office, the Ocean City Police Department and the Seaford Police Department.