Life sentence for robber, attempted murderer who targeted Asian businesses

Surveillance video shows two men accused of robbing multiple metro Atlanta businesses.
Surveillance video shows two men accused of robbing multiple metro Atlanta businesses.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A man who terrorized multiple Asian-run businesses around the metro area in 2017, including shooting three women, has been sentenced to life in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Dravion Sanchez Ware, 25, of Atlanta, was sentenced to five concurrent life terms in prison, acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine of Georgia’s Northern District said in a news release. Ware was also sentenced to six concurrent 20-year prison terms and forced to pay restitution of more than $135,000, Erskine said.

Ware was convicted in August 2019 for conspiracy to commit robbery, five counts of robbery and five counts of discharging or brandishing a gun during those robberies, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

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Ware and another man, 26-year-old Tabyron Rashad Smith, were accused of targeting and robbing at least nine Asian-run businesses in 2017, Erskine said. They committed robberies in Atlanta, Doraville, Norcross, Duluth, Stone Mountain and Roswell.

“During the robberies, Ware frequently pistol-whipped defenseless victims that did not resist him, sending at least one man to the hospital,” Erskine said. He also shot three women, one from point-blank range as she knelt on the floor in front of him, Erskine said. All three survived.

“Ware terrorized the victims of these robberies and nearly killed one woman,” 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.”

ExploreGangster to serve 27 years for armed robberies of Asian-run businesses

Ware and Smith were both captured in November 2017, and Smith pleaded guilty to robbery and gun charges in July 2019. Smith was sentenced to 27 years in prison in November, as well as three years of supervised release and the same restitution amount of more than $135,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI, GBI and police departments from Doraville, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Atlanta, Roswell and Sandy Springs.

“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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