WATERLOO | The U.S. government is dropping its case against a North Carolina bank robbery fugitive who was caught living in Waterloo this year.
Federal authorities had charged Ronald Dwaine Carnes, 68, with misuse of Social Security numbers and identification document fraud in connection with identities he used after escaping from a North Carolina prison in 1973. He also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Trial was tentatively set for Sept. 22 and was expected to last two weeks.
But on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa asked the court to drop the charges so Carnes can return to North Carolina and resume serving his sentence in the 1970 holdup.
Judge Linda Reade hasn’t ruled on the government’s request to dismiss.
State authorities had arrested Carnes for a firearms charge and misdemeanor charges of making a false application for a driver's license and making a false application for a vehicle title after he was discovered in Waterloo in April. The state charges were dismissed in June when the federal charges were levied.
According to court records, Carnes was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon in the November 1970 heist at a Li'l General Food Store in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but escaped from the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Huntersville, N.C., in August 1973.
Authorities said he lived in Washington state before moving to Iowa in 2013.
Iowa Department of Transportation computers alerted officials after biometric recognition software noticed two different drivers’ licenses had the same the same facial features, and investigators traced the licenses back to Carnes, who was living under the names William Henry Cox and Louie Vance.