The leader of a robbery crew that committed at least 15 armed holdups of cell phone stores across North Texas and southern California in 2019 has been sentenced to 45 years in a federal prison.
Two members of the crew were from Fort Worth. Federal authorities said there were four other members in the crew.
Over the course of the robbery spree, federal authorities estimated that the crew stole more than $600,000 worth of merchandise including cell phones, tablets and watches.
Edward Eugune Robinson, 50, of Long Beach, California, was sentenced on Thursday to 45 years on federal charges of robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
A federal jury convicted Robinson of those charges in March.
During the robberies, Robinson and his crew threatened store employees with guns and tasers, and demanded that they open the safes where the phones and other equipment were stored. Employees were then tied up with zip-ties or cell phone chargers, according to federal court documents.
The other defendants, Aaron Hardick and Ncholeion Hollie, both of Fort Worth, have pleaded guilty in the case. Hardick, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to multiple federal robbery and firearms charges, was sentenced to 45 years.
Hollie pleaded guilty in 2020 to one federal robbery charge in North Texas and was sentenced to nine years in a federal prison.
Another defendant, Anthony Wimbley of Irvin, California, was convicted on federal robbery and firearms charges in 2019 and sentenced to 114 months in prison.
Three other defendants — Wimbley’s cousin, Robert Wimbley, 28, of Pomona; Wimbley’s brother, Darron Wimbley, 29, of Fontana; and Djovonte Lewis, 23, of Pomona — each pleaded guilty in August 2020 to one count of a federal robbery charge and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime.
Robert Wimbley was sentenced to 114 months in federal prison, and Darron Wimbley is serving a 100-month federal prison sentence for his crimes. Information on the sentence for Lewis was not available on Friday.
The cases in North Texas were investigated by FBI agents in the Dallas Field Office and Fort Worth, Hurst and Bedford police.