Federal jury finds Opelousas man guilty of robbing three businesses at gunpoint
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found an Opelousas man guilty Tuesday of robbing three local businesses at gunpoint.
Carey Wardell Reed, 28, of Opelousas, La., was found guilty of three counts of interference with commerce by robbery; two counts of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime; and one count of using, carrying and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. After the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for approximately two and a half hours before delivering the guilty verdict. United States District Judge Rebecca F. Doherty presided over the trial.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Reed robbed three commercial establishments in Opelousas in 2014. On May 2, 2014, Reed robbed the Tiger Stop #7 gas station. He fired a shot, and told everyone inside to “get down.” He then had the employees empty the cash register of $704 and fled the scene. One May 10, 2014, Reed robbed the Chicken King restaurant. He entered the restaurant with a gun, which he pointed at the cashier. He demanded money and threatened to harm those present. The cashier turned over $985, and Reed fled. On September 22, 2014, Reed robbed a Family Dollar store. He entered the store with a handgun and demanded money. Before leaving, he also threatened the employees’ lives and took $1,400. The defendant was arrested on September 30, 2014 after police conducted a traffic stop. Extensive ballistic and digital forensic evidence were key in proving Reed to be the perpetrator in all three robberies.
Reed faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the robbery counts, seven years in prison on each of the brandishing offenses, and 10 years in prison for the discharging offense. Because the defendant has been convicted of multiple firearms offenses, two of the firearms convictions are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years of imprisonment for each count. Sentencing will be set at a later date.
The FBI and the Opelousas Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamilla A. Bynog and Joseph T. Mickel prosecuted the case.