Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Suspect to face trial here first

Man accused of nationwide bank robberies caught locally

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Federal authorities in Cincinnati are first in line to bring criminal charges against a Los Angeles man who is suspected of committing nearly 100 armed robberies nationwide.

Trevor D. Woods, a fugitive for more than two years, was arrested in Springfield Township last week after the robbery of a PNC Bank on Vine Street. Police say he and two others robbed bank employees at gunpoint.

Although Woods also is wanted in connection with crimes in California and Oklahoma, authorities in Cincinnati said Tuesday they expect him to face trial here first.

"We believe he will face charges in Cincinnati before he is charged in other jurisdictions," said Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Greg Lockhart. "We will be presenting this case to a federal grand jury."

He said law enforcement in Cincinnati will coordinate with authorities in the other states, but the bank robbery in Springfield Township will take precedence because it's the one that led to Woods' arrest.

Officials at the U.S. Marshals Service have said Woods and two other accused men, James A. Black and Leonard O. Drister, were caught with $56,000. Police tracked their car with a global positioning device that was dropped into the bag of money.

Deputy U.S. marshals were in Greater Cincinnati looking for Woods before the robbery because they had received a tip he was in the area.

Woods was on the Marshals Service's list of 15 most wanted fugitives.

Marshals' officials said that after his arrest, Woods told an officer: "You're about to be promoted. I am one of the U.S. marshals' 15 most wanted."

Alverson said the grand jury in Cincinnati will consider federal bank robbery and firearms charges. If he is indicted and convicted, Woods would face up to 25 years on the robbery charge and a mandatory seven years on the gun charge.

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