Man accused of 2017 robbery spree facing federal indictment

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A man accused of robbing multiple businesses in both Texarkanas in 2017 is facing a federal indictment in addition to a number of state charges.

Troy Lee Ware, 66, is named in an 8-count indictment handed down Thursday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Ware was arrested in January 2018 and has been held in the Miller County jail on nine felony counts and a motion to revoke probation ever since.

Investigators for both Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Ark., police departments were engaged in a months-long search for the man who robbed banks and other businesses at gunpoint while wearing gloves, a toboggan with eye holes cut out and sneakers. Ware, who operated a small used car dealership on 9th Street in Texarkana, Ark., had access to a number of different cars which he allegedly drove during the commission of at least some of the robberies, according to search warrant affidavits.

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Investigators carefully observed the mannerisms of the robber in video surveillance footage and later noticed that Ware moved the same way as the robber. A toboggan with holes cut for eyes was dropped at the scene of one of the hold-ups. While there were no hairs found in the cap, a DNA sample which allegedly is a match to Ware was found.

Since his arrest, detectives have acquired warrants for Ware’s cell phone records. The records show that Ware turned his phone off before the robberies, presumably to conceal location, and the phone was in the area of some of the robberies shortly before they occurred.

Ware’s federal indictment alleges he committed four robberies of Texas-side businesses in 2017 including a Wells Fargo bank branch, the Potato Patch restaurant on State Line Avenue, the Tobacco Store on New Boston Road and the Shamrock gas station on Richmond Road. Four additional counts accuse Ware of brandishing a firearm during the commission of a robbery.

The Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges in February 2018 including seven counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault. Ware’s case in Miller County is scheduled for a hearing next week before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.

If convicted of aggravated robbery in Miller County, Ware is facing 10 to 40 years or life on each count. The assault charges can result in up to six years in prison for Ware and fines up to $10,000 on each case.

Each of the robbery charges listed in Ware’s federal indictment is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both prison and a fine. The firearms charges are each punishable by a minimum of five years in prison which must be served consecutively to any other sentence. There is no parole from a federal prison sentence.

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