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Former resident is charged
with robbing East Coast bank

Justin Lee Worley, 33, a former Iowa Park resident, was arrested in Seekonk, MA. Sept. 19 and charged with armed robbery as well as other crimes.

Worley is believed to be a suspect in several bank robberies committed since the first of the year in Massachussetts and Rhode Island.

The suspect in each robbery reportedly wore a fake beard during the crimes, leading local media to dub the man the “Rhode Island Bearded Bandit.”

According to a release from Seekonk Police Chief Ronald Charron, Worley was charged with possission of class B drugs, armed robbery and fugitive from justice.

The armed robbery charge pertains to a bank robbery that occurred Feb. 23 of this year at the Bank of America in Seekonk. During the robbery, the suspect wore what is believed to be a fake beard.

East Providence Police Department has also issued warrants for Worley as a suspect in two bank robberies in that community.

Seekonk Police located Worley in the parking lot of a motel where an officer had spotted vehicles matching the descriptions of some used in the recent bank robberies.

Officers found Worley with a young child, reported to be his daughter. According to a news article, the child and her mother lived at the motel with Worley. A search of the motel room registered to Worley turned up a fake beard, and reportedly, drugs.

The Leader was unable to obtain information as to whether money or weapons were located when Worley was arrested.

The Leader was able to confirm that Worley attended Iowa Park schools from 1992 to 1995, and had been handled by the Iowa Park Police Department as late as 2003.

News stories published by the East Coast News reported that Worley had served years in the US Army, where he had multiple deployments to Iraq, and was seriouy injured by an improvised explosive device while serving.

However, a friend of the family who asked to remain anonymous, said Worley served three years in the Army before going to work for Haliburton and going to Afghanistan as a civilian, where he was seriously injured.

Worley was arraigned in Taunton District Court Thursday.



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