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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of California

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 4, 2019
Nicola T. Hanna
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ciaran McEvoy

Long Beach Man Who Led Crew That Committed 10 Armed Robberies of Verizon Stores in Two States Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

SANTA ANA, California – The ringleader of a crew that committed 10 armed robberies of Verizon stores across Southern California and Arizona, netting approximately $340,000 worth of stolen smartphones and other merchandise in the process, pleaded guilty on Friday to three federal felonies.

 

Zachary David Wade, 41, of Long Beach, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfering with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. United States District Judge David O. Carter has scheduled a July 8 sentencing hearing, where Wade will face a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

 

According to his plea agreement, from July 2017 until February 2018, Wade planned, organized and supervised the armed robberies of Verizon stores in Tarzana, Torrance, Fullerton, Long Beach, Corona, San Pedro, Corona del Mar, as well as in Arizona.

 

Wade admitted to selecting which Verizon stores would be robbed and instructing his co-conspirators on how the robberies should occur, including identifying entrance and exit routes. He also admitted to providing equipment such as duffle bags and loaded firearms, which his co-defendants then used during the robberies. Wade also admitted to exclusively determining how much each robbery participant would get paid. The typical robbery netted tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of smartphones and other merchandise, which Wade later sold to a buyer in Glendale, California, the plea agreement states.

 

On January 31, 2018, Wade planned and organized the robbery of a Verizon retailer in Tucson, Arizona, but was arrested the next day in Glendale, California while attempting to sell the stolen smartphones and other merchandise for cash.

 

Eight of Wade’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy, robbery, and firearms charges. They are: Daniel Joseph Smith, 30, of Long Beach; Sean Keith Rivers, Jr., 25, of Long Beach; Marques Alphonse Petty-Wright, 31, of Long Beach; Randall Lee Tate, Jr., 30, of Long Beach; Andre Dierre Stovall II, 24, of Long Beach; Drae Tamar Wright, 27, of Long Beach; Sylvester Edwards, Jr., 29, of Lancaster; and Jeffrey Kevin Duran, 50, of Bellflower.

 

Tate was sentenced in September 2018 to 51 months in federal prison. The other co-defendants await sentencing.

 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott D. Tenley and Daniel S. Lim of the Santa Ana Branch Office.

 
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Los Angeles Field Division