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Press Release

Scranton Woman Pleads Guilty In Federal Court To Acting As Getaway Driver For Two Area Bank Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Stephanie Ann Ware, age 25, of Scranton, pleaded guilty yesterday to aiding and abetting the robbery of two banks by acting as a getaway driver.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Ware pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani in Scranton. Ware admitted to charges contained in a Criminal Information alleging that she aided in the commission of the following:

  • the robbery of the NBT Bank, Dickson City, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 2014;

  • the robbery of the Mauch Chunk Trust Bank, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 2014;

The case against Lee Sokalsky, who was also charged with the robberies, is pending trial. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hazleton, Rush Township, and Dickson City Police Departments, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Scranton Police Department.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney John Gurganus.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this particular case, the maximum penalty for each robbery is 20 years’ imprisonment.  Ware faces a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine if convicted. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendants, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated February 4, 2016