Fugitive Sought in Relation to Serial Robberies of Banks in Grocery Stores
|Nov. 18, 2011|
HOUSTON – An 18-count federal superseding indictment has been unsealed today charging nine area men for their roles in the robbery of eight area banks, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the FBI.
The indictment, unsealed just moments ago, charges Patrick Wayne Simmons, 27, along with eight others for robbing several area banks, including one involving the shooting of an off duty Harris County deputy. Simmons is currently a fugitive and a photo of him is attached. Anyone with knowledge if his whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000.
“Even in this high-tech age, old fashioned bank robberies are still a cause for concern,” said Morris, “The FBI will continue to support our local law enforcement partners in the vigorous pursuit of those who commit the most violent crimes.”
Charged with Simmons are Marcus Rosemond Tarpley, 30, Anthony Demonde Nowlin, 22, Alonzo Horace Harris, 35, Hakim Ibn Ahmad, 29, Reginald Mosley, 35, Mark Eric Simpson, 28, Shelton McGowen, 22, and Derrick Williams 26. Six have been in federal custody since their initial arrest on Sept. 16, 2011, and will remain in federal custody pending trial, while Simpson and Harris have been in state custody on unrelated charges. Simpson and Harris made their his initial appearances Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, at which time both were ordered temporarily detained pending detention hearings set for Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson.
The indictment alleges that the conspiracy began on May 4, 2007, and ended with the arrest of Tarpley, Nowlin, Ahmad, Mosley, McGowen and Williams on Sept. 16, 2011.
The 18-count indictment includes one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce through robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, eight counts of bank robbery and eight counts of possessing and/or discharging firearms during a violent crime. According to the superseding indictment, the defendants would “case” banks and credit unions that were located in grocery stores, using force, violence and intimidation to rob them. During the robberies, which were committed on weekday mornings between 9:00 a.m. and noon, the defendants would use semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and Uzi style firearms to intimidate the bank employees. The superseding indictment further alleges that the defendants would also use stolen vehicles, primarily Dodge products, during the robberies to elude law enforcement.
During the Aug. 4, 2011, robbery of Wells Fargo Bank in Sugar Land involving Tarpley, Simmons, Mosley, Nowlin, Harris and Simspon, according to the indictment, a firearm was discharged and an off-duty Harris County deputy who was in the bank on personal business was shot.
Tarpley, Nowlin, Ahmad, Mosley, McGowen and Williams were arrested on the morning of Sept. 16, 2011, on Interstate 45 North after several of them were observed both driving and going in and out of a stolen Dodge Intrepid. Officers later observed McGowen enter the Associated Credit Union for the purpose of casing it for a robbery. Law enforcement officers observed several suspicious vehicles with paper plates near the Kroger that housed the Associated Credit Union on the day of their Sept. 16 arrest. Due to previous robberies of groceries store banks and credit unions, law enforcement had reason to believe that the defendants were about to commit a robbery.
This matter was investigated by the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force which is comprised of personnel from the FBI, Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff's Office with special assistance from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the Baytown and Pasadena Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Elmilady and Kebharu H. Smith.