Birmingham Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Ensley Pharmacy Armed Robbery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 23, 2013|
BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge today sentenced a Birmingham man to 20 years and one month in prison for a 2011 armed robbery of an Ensley pharmacy, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein, Jr.
U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced Willie Edwards, 39, for robbing Moore’s Pharmacy on Ensley Avenue in Birmingham on July 30, 2011, and brandishing a gun during the robbery. Edwards pleaded guilty in January to the armed robbery involving controlled substances charge and to the charge of brandishing a gun during a crime of violence. The brandishing charge carries a mandatory seven-year prison sentence that must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the crime.
“This defendant and the co-defendants in this case all endangered innocent people in their violent quest to steal one of the most commonly abused prescription substances in our communities—hydrocodone,” Vance said. This type of violent criminal must be taken off the streets.”
Edwards was charged in the armed robbery along with Anthony Young, 21, of Hueytown. Young’s case has been continued.
According to court documents, Edwards entered Moore’s Pharmacy with the other robber and ordered employees to lie down on the floor after a gun was brandished. Edwards and his accomplice took pills and cough syrup containing hydrocodone, a narcotic pain killer.
Edwards and Young were indicted in November, along with Edwards’ cousin, Sterling Edwards, 20, also of Birmingham. Sterling Edwards pleaded guilty in February to the October 13, 2011 armed robbery of Campbell’s Pharmacy in Adamsville and the March 13, 2012 armed robbery of Helena Hometown Pharmacy in Helena. Controlled substances were taken and guns were used in both robberies. Sterling Edwards pleaded guilty to brandishing a gun in the Helena robbery.
Sterling Edwards is scheduled for sentencing May 30.
The FBI and Birmingham Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Montminy and Robin B. Mark are prosecuting the case.