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Press Release

Birmingham Man Sentenced To Nearly 12 Years In Prison For Armed Pharmacy Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Birmingham man to nearly 12 years in prison for armed robberies at two pharmacies in the Birmingham metro area, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced STERLING EDWARDS, 20, to four years and nine months in prison for the Oct. 13, 2011, armed robbery of Campbell’s Pharmacy on Veterans Memorial Drive in Adamsville, and the March 13, 2012, armed robbery of Helena Hometown Pharmacy on Shelby County 17 in Helena. Kallon sentenced Edwards to an additional seven years in prison for brandishing a gun during the Helena robbery.  Brandishing a weapon during a crime of violence carries a mandatory seven-year prison sentence that must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the crime. Edwards pleaded guilty to the crimes in February.

“This defendant, and co-defendants in this case, all endangered innocent people in their violent quest to steal prescription narcotics, which are the most abused substances in our country,” Vance said. “Violent criminals like this must be taken off our streets.”

“Violent criminals who use guns to threaten lives during robberies and other crimes can expect to be held accountable for their illegal acts,” Schwein said. “The FBI is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities.”

Edwards, his uncle, Willie Edwards, 39, also of Birmingham, and Anthony Young, 21, of Hueytown, were all charged in a November indictment. Sterling Edwards and Young were both charged in the Helena pharmacy robbery. Willie Edwards and Young were both charged in a July 30, 2011, armed robbery of Moore’s Pharmacy on Ensley Avenue in Birmingham.

Willie Edwards pleaded guilty to the Ensley pharmacy robbery and to brandishing a gun in that robbery. He was sentenced to 20 years and one month in prison. Young’s case has been continued.

According to court documents, Sterling Edwards entered Campbell’s Pharmacy in Adamsville on the morning of Oct. 13, 2011, along with his uncle. Both men pulled guns, demanded money and drugs and threatened to kill the four employees, including the pharmacist, if they did not comply.

In the Helena pharmacy robbery, Sterling Edwards entered the store on the morning of March 13, 2012, with Young, and both brandished weapons, according to court records. Sterling Edwards ordered the pharmacist to open the cash register and to get drugs containing the narcotic pain-killer, Oxycontin. The robbers ordered the pharmacy employees to lie on the floor and threatened to kill them if they got up, according to court documents.

The FBI and Birmingham Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Montminy and Robin B. Mark are prosecuting the case.

Updated March 19, 2015