Home Little Rock Press Releases 2013 Robbery Crew Charged in 27-Count Indictment

Robbery Crew Charged in 27-Count Indictment

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 05, 2013
  • Eastern District of Arkansas (501) 340-2600

LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Randall Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced a 27-count indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury today, charging six defendants in connection with multiple armed robberies of fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and other local businesses in Little Rock, Benton, Bryant, Sherwood, Lonoke, and Carlisle over the past year. Among the victims are Wendy’s, Burger King, Shell Super Stop, Citgo, Taco Bell, Little Caesar’s, Tropical Smoothie, McDonald’s, Dollar General, Taco Bueno, and Andy’s Restaurant.

The counts include conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, interference with commerce by robbery, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. If convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, each defendant will face a sentence of not more than 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $250,000, followed by not more than three years of supervised release.

“A criminal organization such as this not only victimizes business and individuals during the robbery, but also the citizens who frequent those businesses,” stated Thyer. “This indictment demonstrates our commitment to work together as law enforcement agencies to bring justice to bear on those who use intimidation and violence against people in Central Arkansas. People deserve to live and operate businesses without the fear of criminal interference in their daily lives.”

“Whether grabbing a quick bite to eat, filling up your gas tank, or going to the store—Arkansans want to feel safe in conducting their day-to-day activities,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Randall C. Coleman. “The FBI will continue to work with our partners at the Little Rock Police Department to disrupt and dismantle violent groups like this one.”

The Little Rock Police Department, along with other local law enforcement agencies from across Central Arkansas, approached the FBI earlier this year regarding what they believed to be a well-organized and violent robbery crew targeting local businesses in several different jurisdictions. In each jurisdiction where the robberies occurred, law enforcement worked tirelessly using videos from the crime scenes, interviewing witnesses along with additional investigative techniques to identify several of the subjects involved. These men allegedly robbed restaurants, gas stations, and various businesses, generally late in the evening. Typically, there would be one person designated to take the manger to the safe, and another one to three would hold the customers and employees at gunpoint while a driver waited nearby for their getaway. They took from $200 to $6,100 during the robberies. Along with the money, the Indictment alleges Daniel Glenn Caple, age 20, stole cigarettes. In a cooperative effort with the FBI, local law enforcement agencies arrested four of the defendants indicted, who have been held on local robbery charges pending this federal indictment. Two members of this robbery crew, Christopher Earnest Bell, age 36, and Antwann Deshawn Sockwell, age 24, both of Little Rock are still at large. Anyone with information of their whereabouts should contact their local law enforcement or the FBI. Law enforcement believes that this robbery crew is responsible for other armed robberies in the area, and the investigation is ongoing.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI in cooperation with the Little Rock, Benton, Bryant, Sherwood, Lonoke, and Carlisle Police Departments. The indictment is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benecia B. Moore.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defendants/Charges:

Conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery:

  • Christopher Earnest Bell, 36, Little Rock
  • Daniel Glenn Caple, 20, Amity
  • Justin Prince Pettis, 23, Little Rock
  • Tony Bernard Smith, 28, Little Rock
  • Antwann Deshawn Sockwell, 24, Little Rock
  • Mike Dewayne Waller, 45, Little Rock

In addition to the conspiracy charge, the following defendants are also charged with the following crimes:

  • Christopher Earnest Bell, interference with commerce by robbery (nine counts)
  • Daniel Glenn Caple, interference with commerce by robbery (three counts) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (three counts)
  • Justin Prince Pettis, interference with commerce by robbery (three counts)
  • Tony Bernard Smith, interference with commerce by robbery (six counts)
  • Antwann Deshawn Sockwell, interference with commerce by robbery (three counts) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (one count)
  • Mike Dewayne Waller, interference with commerce by robbery (11 counts) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (two counts)

Statutory Sentences

Conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery is punishable by not more than 20 years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than three years’ supervised release.

Interference with commerce by robbery is punishable by not more than 20 years’ incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than three years’ supervised release.

Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (if brandished) is punishable by not less than seven years, but not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than five years’ supervised release.

- View Christopher Earnest Bell’s wanted poster

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