BERLIN — A Worcester County man pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit armed robbery for a spree of as many as five incidents in Salisbury last year and now faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Charles Ayres, 22, of Snow Hill, pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and brandishing a gun in the furtherance of a crime of violence for his role in an armed robbery spree in the Salisbury area over a period of several weeks from last April to June. Ayres faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake was scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 15.
On April 29, 2010, Ayres and his co-conspirators robbed a convenience store on E. Church Street in Salisbury. During the robbery, Ayres wore a ski mask and black clothing and brandished a firearm and threatened store employees. The employees were injured and physically restrained during the robbery.
On May 10, 2010, Ayres and a co-conspirator robbed a marijuana ,dealer on Arthur Court in Salisbury. According to his plea arrangement, Ayres knew a firearm would be used during the robbery. Witnesses identified Ayres as the suspect in the armed robbery of the dealer. The stolen marijuana was later sold for profit.
Ayres and a co-conspirator robbed the same convenience store on E. Church Street again. The very next day, Ayres and a co-conspirator robbed a different convenience store on Snow Hill Rd. in Salisbury. In both cases, a firearm was brandished and employees were threatened. Witnesses identified Ayres as one of the suspects in each armed robbery.
After pleading guilty on Monday, Ayres remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing in July. One of his co-conspirators in the robberies, Angela Furniss, 28, of Salisbury, previously pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing set for June.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein announced the Ayres’ guilty plea this week, along with ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa Stoop, Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan and Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello. Rosenstein commended the ATF, the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office for the investigation of the crimes and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Kwame Manley and Antonio Reynolds for prosecuting the case.