Suspect faces federal charge in Hillsville robbery

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 ROANOKE — A 50-year-old New Castle man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an Aug. 6 bank robbery in Hillsville.

Richard Donald Hawes was originally charged with the robbery of Grayson National Bank under state law, but that charge will be dismissed in favor of a federal prosecution.

The federal single-count indictment handed down Oct. 15 charges that Hawes used force to rob $9,605 from the bank.

Hawes was being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail pending further hearings on the state charge.

Now, federal authorities have issued a detainer for Hawes, meaning that he will be held at the jail until they can get the accused into the federal system.

Federal convictions often bring harsher penalties than in state courts.

No federal hearings have yet been scheduled for Hawes.

The suspect in the Hillsville bank robbery had hidden his features behind a cap, large sunglasses and a bandanna, but witnesses provided a detailed description of the pickup truck involved.

When Hillsville police went to Hawes' home Craig County to make the arrest, they seized a 1990 Isuzu truck, along with other items.

Hawes has two prior convictions for bank robbery — one in 1997 and a second from 2001, according to U.S. District Court officials in Roanoke. He received prison sentences of 55 months and 72 months in those cases, respectively.