Ex-Brinks employee convicted of conspiring to rob armored trucks

Victor Natson
Victor Natson

Federal prosecutors say a former Brinks employee used his knowledge of armored truck routes and drivers to orchestrate two Savannah-area heists.

Victor Natson, 27, worked for Brinks, Inc. for two years before he conspired with a convicted gang member and that man’s cousin to pull off the robberies in October 2016 and January 2017, according to the office of Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Natson was convicted last week of conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by robbing the armored trucks. After four days of trial, a federal jury found him guilty of aiding and abetting robbery, attempted robbery, and the discharge and brandishing of firearms during violent crimes.

Prosecutors said Natson became involved with Gregory Lamar Plair, 33, in the summer of 2016. Plair is a multi-convicted felon and known gang member, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Plair pleaded guilty to his involvement in the crimes in August 2017. Only Natson and the third accused robber, 22-year-old Joshua Scott, proceeded to trial.

Scott was found guilty of robbery and firearm brandishing charges. All three men are Savannah residents.

“With inside information from Victor Natson, Joshua Scott and Gregory Plair thought armed cars easy targets,” Christine said in a news release. “Because of their criminal acts, Scott and Plair were both shot, and now will serve lengthy prison sentences. Victor Natson will go to prison for decades.”

Prosecutors said Natson encouraged Plair to commit the crimes. Plair then recruited Scott because he knew Scott had access to stolen firearms.

During the first robbery, on Oct. 14, 2016, Natson was the getaway driver. He drove Plair and Scott to a SunTrust bank ATM on the corner of White Bluff Road and Tibet Avenue to rob employees servicing the machine, the jury heard at trial.

The trio got away with $35,000, according to prosecutors. A semi-automatic pistol was discharged in the process.

Their second attempt on Jan. 30, 2017,  would not be so fortunate.

Prosecutors said Natson provided Scott and Plair with  instructions on how to locate “the truck with the old white guy in it,” referring to a 71-year-old Brinks driver. They accosted the driver, but were injured when another Brinks employee began shooting, the jury heard.

Plair was arrested after he checked himself into a Savannah hospital for treatment, and Scott was taken to a different hospital by ambulance and arrested when he was released.

Natson’s charges came with a June 2017 federal grand jury indictment.

The three are now awaiting sentencing.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the men face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy, robbery, attempted robbery and aiding-and-abetting charges. They also face up to $250,000 in fines and three years of supervised release.

Natson’s expected sentence is steeper. He faces no less than 35 years in a federal prison for aiding and abetting the brandishing and discharge of firearms, which much be served consecutively to any other sentence, prosecutors said.

Under federal law, each of the firearms offenses can be punished by life in prison.

“The prosecution of these three predators should put all criminals on notice that the United States Attorney’s Office will ensure those who perpetrate violence will serve hard time,” Christine said.

The investigation into the crimes was led by the FBI Southeast Georgia Violent Crime Task Force and the former Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, with the assistance of various federal and state law enforcement agencies.

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