News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2009
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Charlotte Men Sentenced for Armed Robberies of South
Carolina Pharmacies

JUN 9 -- Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney W. Walter Wilkins stated today that CHRISTOPHER RYAN HAYES, age 25, and STEPHEN RAY MILLER, age 25, both of Charlotte, North Carolina, were sentenced for Armed Robbery of a Pharmacy.  Hayes received a sentence of over 36 years imprisonment, and Miller was sentenced to just over ten years imprisonment. In March, a jury convicted Hayes of robbing at gunpoint a Walgreen’s pharmacy located in Gaffney, SC and Hayes and Miller of robbing at gunpoint a Walgreen’s pharmacy located in Lexington, SC.  United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie imposed the sentences.

The men were accompanied during both robberies by Andy Huynh, age 25, currently incarcerated in North Carolina, who was previously pled guilty to the same crimes, and received a sentence of almost eight years.  Thippasone Phanasouk, age 33, of Charlotte, participated in the Gaffney robbery and was sentenced last month to almost six years in prison.   The conspirators stole prescription narcotics during the robberies. 

During the trial, employees of the Gaffney and Lexington pharmacies testified that the gunmen made them lie face down in the pharmacy area while drugs such as OxyCodone, Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab, and Xanax were taken.  The drugs later were sold in Charlotte, NC.  Both Hayes and Miller carried handguns during the robberies in which they participated.   

Mr. Wilkins stated that the case was developed by investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Unit, the Gaffney Police Department, and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Winston D. Holliday, Jr., and Nathan S. Williams of the Columbia office.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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