Aurora man gets 30 years in 2015 robbery plot
An Aurora man with a long criminal record has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after his arrest and conviction in 2015 of possessing a handgun with the intent of robbing a person at gunpoint.
Under state law, Ronald Smith must serve 85 percent, or about 25½ years, of the sentence issued by Kane County Judge Kathryn Karayannis last week.
After a trial in May 2018, a jury convicted Smith, 36, formerly of the 300 block of West Illinois Avenue, of being an armed habitual criminal.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Aurora police learned through an anonymous tip that Smith, who had been to prison four previous times, planned to commit an armed robbery along the 0-99 block of North Union Street on the night of Sept. 19, 2015.
With knowledge that Smith would be in a white Toyota pickup truck, police went to the area, saw the truck and made a traffic stop a short time later, prosecutors said,
Police saw Smith, who was in the passenger seat, put something under the seat and officers ordered both he and the driver out of the truck.
Smith was wearing black pants, a black sweatshirt, a black glove and had a mask around his neck, and police found a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol under his seat, prosecutors said.
Because of his criminal record, Smith was not allowed to own a gun. He also had been sentenced to prison four times: 10 years for a 2001 armed robbery; six years for possessing a stolen car in 2006; four years for a drug offense in 2009; and six years for a drug delivery offense, also in 2009.
Under state law, he received credit for good behavior and served about half the time in the four prison terms.
At the time of his arrest in 2015, Smith was on parole for the 2009 drug delivery, prosecutors said.
"Mr. Smith received the sentence he and the community deserved," State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in a statement. "He has a horrible criminal record and is a significant public safety threat. My thanks to the person who called police and spoke up when Mr. Smith was about to rob someone at gunpoint, to the Aurora Illinois Police Department, which foiled a violent crime and removed a career criminal from Aurora for a very long time."