For Immediate Release
Ringleader of Crew that Committed 13 Robberies of Verizon Stores in Two States Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Federal Prison
SANTA ANA, California – A Long Beach man was sentenced today to 272 months in federal prison for leading a crew that committed 13 robberies of Verizon stores across Southern California and Arizona, netting approximately $340,000 worth of smartphones and other merchandise.
Zachary David Wade, 42, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter, who ordered him to pay $360,236 in restitution. Wade pleaded guilty in March 2019 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.
Between July 2017 and 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, and the Arizona cities of Tucson and Glendale.
Wade selected which Verizon stores would be robbed and instructed his co-conspirators on how the robberies should occur, including identifying entrance and exit routes. He also provided equipment such as duffle bags and loaded firearms, which his co-defendants used during the robberies.
Wade also exclusively determined 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.
On January 31, 2018, Wade planned and organized the robbery of a Verizon retailer in Tucson, Arizona. He 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, 31, of Long Beach; Sean Keith Rivers, Jr., 26, of Long Beach; Marques Alphonse Petty-Wright, 32, of Long Beach; Randall Lee Tate, Jr., 31, of Long Beach; Andre Dierre Stovall II, 25, of Long Beach; Drae Tamar Wright, 28, of Long Beach; Sylvester Edwards, Jr., 30, of Lancaster; and Jeffrey Kevin Duran, 51, of Bellflower.
Tate was sentenced in September 2018 to 51 months in federal prison. In September 2019, Petty-Wright was given a two-year federal prison sentence. The other defendants are expected to be sentenced in the coming weeks.
Francisco Javier Neri, 32, of Van Nuys, a former employee of an authorized Verizon retailer in Tarzana, pleaded guilty to a federal robbery charge in December 2019. Neri admitted in his plea agreement that he conspired with Wade to rob his former employer, Verizon Tarzana. Neri is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott D. Tenley and Daniel S. Lim of the Santa Ana Branch Office.