Local man accused in armed robberies

March 30, 2019

Three men, including one from Fort Wayne, were charged in a seven-count federal indictment Friday in connection with two armed robberies that occurred within days of each other and had similar tactics.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 5, the owner of B&H Firearms on West Paulding Road was tied up with a USB cord the two robbers brought with them, and then the store was pillaged of 20 firearms, including handguns, long guns and two shotguns. The haul was worth about $9,000.

On Dec. 13, the indictment said, three men entered the T-Mobile store in the 7600 block of Southtown Crossing with guns out. They stole $58,000 worth of merchandise after ordering an employee to open a safe on a time delay.

Two employees and two customers were ordered to the back of the store, where one employee and the two customers were told to lie on the floor, keep their heads down and not look at the robbers. Their hands were zip-tied behind their backs while the other employee worked to open the safe.

Mandell Strawter, 27, of Fort Wayne; Quran Waterford, 34, of Bloomington; and Gary McCaleb, 29, of Harvey, Illinois, were named in the indictment.

Waterford and McCaleb were also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during the robberies and being felons in possession of firearms.

In a separate affidavit, Strawter was charged with selling heroin twice in February and selling cocaine in March.

The indictments were brought by U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II of the Northern District of Indiana.