Related topics

Inmates Suspected in Robbery Plot

February 7, 2002

%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Two inmates planned bank holdups from behind bars, and one even advised accomplices by cell phone during a robbery, the FBI said Thursday.

Warren Cromety and Frankie Porter are accused of convincing Cromety’s stepbrother and two Akron women to commit two robberies and share the proceeds with them.

An FBI senior agent said he did not know why the inmates discussed the robberies in such detail when they knew the phone calls were being taped. He said Cromety talked on the phone with a getaway driver during one of the robberies.

The investigation began Dec. 17 when police arrested Lawrence Simpson, 18, not far from a FirstMerit bank branch that had just been robbed.

Investigators learned that Simpson was working under the direction of Cromety at Lebanon Correctional Institution near Cincinnati, said Robert Fiatal, senior agent in charge of the Akron FBI office.

Investigators suspect Cromety or Porter would call one of the women collect from prison. If the inmates wanted to talk to Simpson, they made it a three-way call. The women were not identified.

The U.S. attorney’s office plans to file charges against the inmates in a couple of weeks, Fiatal said.

Cromety, 26, is serving a five-year to life sentence for attempted murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. Porter, 29, is serving 200 years to 500 years for kidnappings and aggravated robberies.

Update hourly