Phone-store robbery ringleader sentenced

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A Long Beach robbery-spree ringleader was sentenced Tuesday, Feb. 18 to more than 22 years in federal prison for his role in 13 heists of Verizon stores across the Southland and Arizona.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter also ordered Zachary David Wade, 42, to pay $360,236 in restitution.

Wade pleaded guilty last March to conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and using a gun in the stickups that prosecutors say netted the thieves about $340,000 in smart phones and other items.

Eight co-defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies, which were committed between July 2017 and February 2018 at the company’s stores in Tarzana, Torrance, Fullerton, Long Beach, Corona, San Pedro, Corona del Mar and in Tucson and Glendale in Arizona.

Wade targeted the stores and supervised his cohorts while supplying equipment and guns for the heists, according to prosecutors, who said he was also in charge of doling out cuts from the robberies to his co-defendants.

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