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Serial cell phone store robber sentenced to 45 years in federal prison

Last updated on July 8, 2021

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A Long Beach, California man was sentenced today to 45 years in federal prison after being convicted at trial of committing a spree of violent cell phone store robberies, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

A federal jury found Edward Eugene Robinson, 50, guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, two counts of interfering with commerce by robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence in March.

According to evidence presented at trial — which included eyewitness testimony, store surveillance videos, and evidence obtained from search warrants — Mr. Robinson was the leader of a robbery crew that committed at least 15 armed robberies of cell phone stores across North Texas and Southern California in the spring and summer of 2019.

During the robberies, Mr. Robinson and his accomplices threatened store employees with guns and tazers and demanded that they open the safes where the phones and other equipment were stored. The robbers then restrained the employees using zip-ties or cell phone chargers.

Over the course of the conspiracy, Mr. Robinson stole more than $600,000 of inventory, including cell phones, tablets, and watches. 

The other defendants in the case — Aaron Hardrick and Ncholeion Hollie, both of Fort Worth, Texas — previously pleaded guilty. Mr. Hardrick pleaded guilty in 2019 to multiple federal robbery and firearms charges in North Texas and Southern California. He was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison. Ms. Hollie pleaded guilty in 2020 to one federal robbery charge in North Texas and was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, Fort Worth Police Department, Hurst Police Department, and Bedford Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Weybrecht and Nancy Larson of the Northern District of Texas prosecuted the case, with substantial assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerry C. Yang and Peter H. Dahlquist of the Central District of California.

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