For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 28, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Serial Armed Robber and Accomplice Plead Guilty
Field Division: Tampa Field Division
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Antwan Williams (34, Bradenton) has pleaded guilty to two counts of brandishing a firearm during a robbery in connection with a series of armed robberies he committed in Manatee County. Williams faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 32 years, and up to life, in federal prison. Williams’s accomplice, Tronesh Sparkels Ackerman (24, Palmetto), has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and to aiding and abetting Williams in brandishing the firearm in connection with one of the robberies. Ackerman faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 7 years, and up to life, in federal prison.
According to their plea agreements, Williams and Ackerman robbed five businesses in Manatee County in August 2017. These businesses included four fast food restaurants and a convenience store. During each robbery, Williams entered the business, pointed a handgun at the employees and customers inside, and forced the employees to give him money from the business’s registers and safes. Ackerman acted as Williams’s getaway driver for each robbery.
Investigators identified Williams as a suspect based on a fingerprint obtained from the fifth robbery and then began surveillance of Williams and Ackerman. Within a few hours, as the officers watched, Williams and Ackerman attempted to rob another fast food restaurant, at which point the officers arrested them.
This case was investigated by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bradenton Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Taylor G. Stout.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.