Scranton Woman Charged with Acting as a Getaway Driver for Two Area Bank Robberies
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today the filing of criminal charges against Stephanie Ann Ware, age 26, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, charging her with aiding and abetting the robbery of two banks by acting as a getaway driver.
The two-count Criminal Information alleges that Ware aided Lee Sokalsky in the commission of the following bank robberies:
- the robbery of the NBT Bank, 736 Main Street, Dickson City, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 2014;
- the robbery of the Mauch Chunk Trust Bank, 226 Claremont Avenue, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 2014;
Lee Sokalsky was previously indicted by a Federal Grand Jury and is pending trial.
The government filed a plea agreement with the defendant which is subject to approval by the court.
The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hazleton Police Department, Rush Township Police Department, Dickson City Police Department, 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.