Friday, November 15, 2013
United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated last week that Winard Montez Eady, 30, of North Charleston was convicted following a four-day jury trial in federal court for his role in a string of business robberies.
Evidence presented during the trial established that W. Eady, along with two co-defendants, conspired to commit, and committed, a series of approximately 40 armed robberies between July, 2009 and March, 2011.
The robberies focused on Asian restaurants, check cashing businesses, and loan businesses, mostly occurring in or near Charleston County, but ranging as far as Walterboro, Holly Hill and Georgetown. Testifying at trial were co-defendants Raynard Montel Eady, age 30, of North Charleston, who was W. Eady’s twin brother; and Christopher Donnell Simmons, age 34, of Wadmalaw.
R. Eady and Simmons had previously pled guilty to their roles in the robberies, each admitting to committing over twenty-five robberies. R. Eady is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 80 years, and Simmons a mandatory sentence of 32 years.
At trial, W. Eady was convicted of conspiring to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce and possession of a firearm in furtherance of the conspiracy. The conspiracy conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
The firearm conviction carries a mandatory five-year consecutive term of imprisonment.
United States District Court Judge David C. Norton oversaw the trial, and will impose sentence for all three defendants at a later date.
The convictions were the result of a multi-agency investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division , Charleston Police Department, North Charleston Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner Police Department, Georgetown Police Department, Goose Creek Police Department, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Summerville Police Department, Folly Beach Department of Public Safety, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Walterboro Department of Public Safety, Andrews Police Department, Holly Hill Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, and Mount Pleasant Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Nathan Williams and Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office prosecuted the case.