The United States Department of Justice announced six men have been federally indicted for their alleged roles in a series of armed robberies at cell phone stores across Southern California, including one store in Riverside County.
According to the DOJ, the suspects are accused of “holding store employees at gunpoint, sometimes zip-tying them, then stealing a total of nearly $200,000 worth of electronic devices and cellular telephones.”
The indictment alleges that the suspects conspired to rob cell phone stores in Beaumont, Chino, Fullerton, Long Beach, and Victorville between March 18 and September 8. Officials say the suspects allegedly specifically targeted cell phones that did not contain tracking devices.
The six suspects are:
Anthony Wimbley, 27, of Irvine. Wimbley was arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered released on $80,000 bond
+, 26, of Pomona, and Darron Wimbley, 28, of Fontana, were both arraigned in federal court Wednesday and have been ordered detained.
Edward Eugene Robinson, 48, of Long Beach; and Aaron Tremmell Hardrick, 32, of Fort Worth, Texas, are currently in custody in Texas. Both face charges there based on their alleged violations of the Hobbs Act.
Djovonte Lewis, 22, of Pomona, who is in local custody.
A violation of the Hobbs Act carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The offense of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
One incident referenced in the indictment alleges that Hardrick and two unidentified co-conspirators, wearing masks, brandished a handgun, and stole approximately $65,000 worth of electronic devices and cell phones from a Sprint store in Victorville. One employee was bound with zip-ties and forced to lay on the ground.
According to the DOJ, the suspects allegedly stole approximately $191,053 in cell phones and electronic devices and approximately $2,434 in cash in total from all the robberies.
A December 17 trial date has been set in this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerry C. Yang of the Riverside Branch Office.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.