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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Robber and attempted murderer receives life sentence

ATLANTA - 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 Atlanta, Doraville, Duluth, Roswell, Stone Mountain, and Norcross between October and November 2017. 

“Ware terrorized the victims of these robberies and nearly killed one woman,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “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.”

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,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “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.”

“The GBI Crime Lab was instrumental in this case. Expert analysis and testimony helped lead to a successful prosecution. The GBI is committed to provide the highest quality forensic services in all cases. For over a month, these gang members targeted and terrorized the Asian business community. This sentence is evidence that this behavior will not be tolerated in the state of Georgia,” said Vic Reynolds, Director, Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“Ware and Smith are indicative of the criminals who terrorize our communities and make them unsafe. Each day we put on our uniforms and put our lives on the line to fight crime, investigate cases like these, and do what it takes to keep our communities safe. When the courts convict these perpetrators, we are all vindicated. This news empowers us to keep doing the work we were called to do.” Atlanta Interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant.

“Continued cooperation between multiple local, state and federal agencies produces results. Results that keep our communities and streets safe. People rarely see the many man hours that went into this investigation. Fortunately, they get to see the results,” said Chief Chuck Atkinson, Doraville Police Department.

“The successful outcome and sentencing of these cases is a testament of the importance of agencies working together. Unlike police departments, criminals are not bound by jurisdictional boundaries and these cases are proof that great things happen when agencies proactively share information, work together, and compare cases. The State of Georgia is now a safer place thanks to the cooperation between local, state, and federal partners that enabled the removal of these dangerous criminals from our communities. Although the victims of these crimes will forever be traumatized, we hope these sentences are the beginning of their journey to healing and recovery,” Chief Kenneth DeSimone, Sandy Springs Police Department.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: Between October 7th and November 10, 2017, Ware and his fellow gunman, Tabyron Rashad Smith, 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, Georgia.

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. 

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

  • Dravion Sanchez Ware, 25, of Atlanta, Georgia, 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 August 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. 
     
  • Tabyron Rashad Smith, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, 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.  Judge 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bret R. Hobson and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Lee prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime, the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated February 17, 2021