A federal jury has convicted Dravion Sanchez Ware for conducting a string of armed robberies targeting Asian owned-and-operated businesses in Atlanta, Doraville, Duluth, Roswell, Stone Mountain and Norcross in October and November 2017.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court, between Oct. 7 and Nov. 10, 2017, Ware, along with co-defendant Tabyron Rashad Smith, committed multiple armed robberies of Asian-run businesses in metro Atlanta. Ware participated in at least nine armed robberies.
One of the armed robberies took place at New You Massage on Nov. 10, 2017. According to the FBI press release at the time, the men struck several of the employees and a customer in their heads with their handguns. The robbers then exited the business, entered a red four-door sedan, and fled the area.
Ware pistol-whipped several victims, terrified many others, and even shot three women during one of the robberies in Doraville. One of Ware’s victims attempted to avoid detection while squatting on her knees, face down, behind a cash register. Ware then calmly walked up behind her and shot her in the back at point-blank range.
“Ware terrified his innocent victims, demonstrating a callous disregard for the lives of these small business owners and their customers,” Pak said. “The courage of his victims, and the coordination of federal and local law enforcement officers who were determined to bring him to justice, will ensure he faces a very lengthy prison sentence.”
Ware’s convictions for conspiring to commit, and commission of, multiple Hobbs Act robbery offenses, and the charges of discharging or brandishing a firearm during the robberies, stem from his armed robberies of three businesses in Atlanta, two in Doraville, as well as one business in each of the following cities: Norcross, Duluth, Stone Mountain and Roswell.
“The victims of these violent armed robberies will be emotionally scarred forever, but thanks to a federal jury, hopefully they can rest easier knowing that Ware will not traumatize any more victims like they were, for a long, long time,” Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker said. “The FBI would like to thank our state and local law enforcement partners who helped bring this violent defendant to justice.”
Ware was captured on Nov. 22, 2017, after the FBI led a multi-jurisdictional investigation that included participation of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Doraville Police Department, the Fulton County Police Department, the Gwinnett County Police Department, the Atlanta Police Department, the Roswell Police Department and the Sandy Springs Police Department.
“The violent actions of these individuals created grief and fear within our communities. Thanks to coordination and cooperation between the dedicated members of the participating agencies, Ware and Smith will be held responsible for these vicious attacks,” Roswell Police Chief James W. Conroy said.
Ware’s co-defendant, Smith, pled guilty on July 23, to conspiracy to commit the Hobbs Act robberies, and four counts of discharging or brandishing a firearm during several of the robberies.
Sentencing for Ware, 23, of Atlanta, Georgia, is scheduled for Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. Ware was found guilty on Aug. 2, by a federal jury. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bret R. Hobson and Timothy H. Lee prosecuted the case.