You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Irvine Man Sentenced to 9½ Years in Federal Prison for Role in Robbery Spree of Cell Phone Stores Across Southern California

          RIVERSIDE, California – An Orange County man who was part of a crew that committed a series of armed robberies at Southern California cell phone stores has been sentenced to 114 months in federal prison, the Justice Department announced today.

          Anthony Wimbley, 28, of Irvine, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. Wimbley pleaded guilty in September 2020 to one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

          Wimbley’s sentencing was announced today after a federal jury in Fort Worth, Texas late Wednesday convicted another member of Wimbley’s crew – Edward Eugene Robinson, 49, of Long Beach – 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. Robinson also faces criminal charges in Wimbley’s federal case in Riverside.

          According to the evidence presented at trial, on May 21, 2019, Wimbley, brandishing a handgun and accompanied by three co-conspirators, robbed an AT&T Wireless store in Fullerton, stealing $23,339 worth of electronic devices and cell phones. During the robbery, one of the conspirators pointed a gun at employee’s abdomen and forced her to go to the back of the store after she said she was scared, according to court documents. Law enforcement later found the robbers in a parked car and found nearby the handgun and stolen goods.

          A federal grand jury in October 2019 charged Wimbley, Robinson and four other men in an indictment that alleged a conspiracy to rob cellular phone stores in Chino, Fullerton, Long Beach, Victorville, and Beaumont. The defendants targeted cell phones that did not contain tracking devices, and, in total, stole approximately $191,053 worth of cell phones and electronic devices, and approximately $2,434 in cash, according to the indictment.

          Three other defendants in this case – 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 Hobbs Act robbery 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. Lewis is expected to be sentenced on April 19.

          The indictment’s lead defendant, Aaron Tremmell Hardrick, 33, of Fort Worth, Texas, also was transferred to the Northern District of Texas, where some of crewmembers committed additional robberies. Hardrick pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and a firearms offense, admitted to committing the robberies in Southern California, and was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison.

          This matter was investigated by the FBI, the Redlands Police Department, the Rialto Police Department, the Glendora Police Department, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, the Chino Police Department, the Fullerton Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Beaumont Police Department, and the Pomona Police Department.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jerry C. Yang, Chief of the Riverside Branch Office, and Peter H. Dahlquist, also of the Riverside Branch Office. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas is providing substantial assistance by prosecuting the cases against Hardrick and Robinson, which were handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Weybrecht and Nancy Larson.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
21-043
Updated March 11, 2021