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Press Release

Two Sentenced For Fayetteville Taco Bell Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that yesterday in federal court, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced William Franklin Byford, III, 33, of Bunnlevel, North Carolina to 171 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release and CRISTOPHER DEAN GILBERT , 24, of Fayetteville, North Carolina to 181 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.
BYFORD and GILBERT pled guilty on October 3, 2013 to one count of Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by robbing four Taco Bell Restaurants in Fayetteville, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(b), and one count of Using, Carrying, and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A), 924(c)(1)(A)(ii), and 2. 
According to the investigation, BYFORD and GILBERT committed armed robberies of four Taco Bells in Fayetteville from October 18, 2012 through December 6, 2012.  GILBERT had worked as a manager of a Taco Bell and was familiar with the day-to-day operations of the establishments.  GILBERT committed the robberies while BYFORD, who was paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair, served as the get-away driver in a car that had been modified to be operated by hand.  They equally divided the proceeds from the robberies.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Fayetteville Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Duffy represented the government.

Updated July 14, 2015