Member of Violent Robbery Crew Sentenced to More Than 18 Years in Prison
CHICAGO — A man has been sentenced to more than 18 years in federal prison for participating in a violent robbery crew that targeted cell phone stores in the Chicago area and downstate.
ANTONIO EDWARDS and two co-defendants engaged in a conspiracy to rob a series of cell phone stores in 2017. The crew conducted takeover-style robberies in which two or three robbers would enter a store and order employees to the back of the store at gunpoint. The robbers then loaded phones into bags and fled the store. Edwards personally participated in three of the heists – in Chicago, Waukegan, and Bradley – and he brandished a gun during the Waukegan and Bradley robberies.
Edwards, 26, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and robbery charges, and a jury convicted him after a trial on charges of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo on Friday imposed a prison sentence of 18 years and eight months.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by police departments in Chicago, Waukegan, Bradley, Mount Prospect, North Aurora, Skokie, and Homewood. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron R. Bond and Kristen Totten.
Two other members of the robbery crew – ANDREW MCHANEY, 29, of Chicago, and JAMES BATES, 60, of Chicago – previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison terms of more than 14 years and more than eight years, respectively.