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Police vehicles sit in the basement garage on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at the Cheyenne Police Department in downtown Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A local man faces federal criminal charges for allegedly robbing five businesses and threatening store employees with a gun.

Taylor Ross Wardell has been charged with four counts of interfering with commerce by robbery in U.S. District Court. Wardell already had his initial appearance in the federal courthouse in Casper and has waived his preliminary hearing.

His bond is set at $10,000 cash. It is unclear from the court documents whether Wardell has posted bond.

Wardell is facing a total maximum penalty of 80 years in prison, a $1 million fine, three years of supervised release and a $400 special assessment fee for all four counts.

According to court documents:

Starting Aug. 14, and continuing over the next couple of months, Wardell is accused of robbing several businesses, including Silver Mine Subs on Vandehei Avenue in Cheyenne, Loaf ‘N Jug on East Lincolnway in Cheyenne, Loaf ‘N Jug on Third Street in Laramie, Vino’s Wine and Spirits on Vandehei Avenue in Cheyenne and a Subway on West Carlson Street in Cheyenne.

Court documents say Wardell robbed these businesses with help from someone identified only as “MH.”

At the first robbery, Wardell was wearing a hunter-type hat, and his face was covered in an Ace bandage. Wardell showed the store clerk a silver handgun and demanded the employee empty the register and give him the money.

When the store employee locked themselves in the business office and called 911, Wardell was unable to get into the register and took $5 out of the store’s tip jar. He then fled on foot.

For the second robbery, Wardell went into the store with his face covered with a cloth. Wardell told the store clerk that he had a firearm and wanted “everything in the register.”

The remainder of the robberies occurred in similar fashion, and Wardell allegedly stole more than $1,000 collectively from the robberies – averaging a few hundred dollars from each store.

Wardell was arrested by Cheyenne Police on Oct. 1, when he and “MH” were found sleeping in a white Subaru at 4000 W. College Drive with license plates that didn’t match the car’s registration. Drugs were also seen in plain view, and during the vehicle search, officers found a note that read “give me the money or I’ll shoot.”

“MH” told officers that they and Wardell were addicted to heroin, and that “MH” knew Wardell “broke into and robbed places.”

Isabella Alves is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at ialves@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @IsabellaAlves96.

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