Nine Charged in Grocery-Store Bank-Robbery Ring; One Still on the Run

Federal prosecutors and the FBI announced the indictments of nine men who they say robbed eight Houston-area bank branches in grocery stores.

One of the men, Patrick Wayne Simmons, 27, is still on the run; the others are in custody.

Arrested are Marcus Rosemond Tarpley, 30, Anthony Demonde Nowlin, 22, Alonzo Horace Harris, 35, Hakim Ibn Ahmad, 29, Reginald Mosley, 35, Mark Eric Simpson, 28, Shelton McGowen, 22, and Derrick Williams, 26.

"The defendants would 'case banks and credit unions that were located in grocery stores, using force, violence and intimidation to rob them," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "During the robberies, which were committed on weekday mornings between 9 a.m. and noon, the defendants would use semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and Uzi style firearms to intimidate the bank employees."

The robberies began May 4, 2007, and ended Sept. 16, 2011. They include a robbery this August in Sugar Land in which an off-duty Harris County sheriff's deputy was shot.

"Even in this high-tech age, old-fashioned bank robberies are still a cause for concern," said FNI special agent in charge Stephen Morris. "The FBI will continue to support our local law enforcement partners in the vigorous pursuit of those who commit the most violent crimes."

Anyone with information on Simmons's whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at 713-693-5000.

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