Dravion Sanchez Ware, who shot a woman in the back at point-blank range as she trembled on the floor during one of his robberies, has been sentenced to life in federal prison for the robberies of nine Asian owned-and-operated businesses in metro Atlanta.

According to authorities, between Oct. 7 and Nov. 10, 2017, Ware, 25, and his fellow gunman, Tabyron Rashad Smith, 26, targeted Asian-run businesses in Metro-Atlanta for armed robberies. Of the at least nine businesses they robbed, three were located in Atlanta, two in Doraville, and one each in Norcross, Duluth, Stone Mountain and Roswell.

“Ware terrorized the victims of these robberies and nearly killed one woman,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said. “The complete disregard for the lives of his victims was shocking, and he received an appropriate sentence. We hope this provides some peace to the victims by ensuring that Ware will never again terrorize the communities of our district.”

During the robberies, Ware frequently pistol-whipped defenseless victims that did not resist him, sending at least one man to the hospital. Ware also shot three women, one of whom was kneeling on the floor face down at the time. Fortunately, all three women survived.

“This sentence is a statement that anyone who carries out such evil and inflicts such trauma on innocent citizens has no right to be in our communities,” Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker said. “The sentence will not erase the traumatic scars his crimes left behind, but hopefully his victims can rest easier knowing Ware will not traumatize them or anyone else for the rest of his life.”

Smith and Ware were captured on November 21st and 22nd, 2017, respectively, after a multi-jurisdictional investigation.

Ware was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. to serve five concurrent life terms in prison, plus six concurrent 20-year terms, as well as to pay restitution in the amount of $135,951.81. Ware was convicted by a jury on Aug. 2, 2019, for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies, five counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and five counts of discharging or brandishing a firearm during the robberies.

Smith, 26, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty on July 23, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies and four counts of discharging or brandishing a firearm during several of the robberies. Batten sentenced Smith to serve 27 years in prison, followed by three years on supervised release and to pay restitution in the amount of $135,951.81.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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.

“Although the victims of these crimes will forever be traumatized, we hope these sentences are the beginning of their journey to healing and recovery,” Sandy Springs Police Chief Kenneth DeSimone said.

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