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Massachusetts Man Admits Role in Robbery Spree of Southern New England Pharmacies

FEB 20 (HARTFORD, Conn.) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Dalbert Rodriguez, 30, formerly of Holyoke, Mass., pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to his role in a robbery spree of pharmacies in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 13, 2013, Rodriguez was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with the armed robbery of a CVS store located at 972 Silver Lane in East Hartford.  At approximately 9:00 p.m. on October 18, 2013.  Rodriguez entered the CVS, proceeded to the pharmacy counter, passed through a swinging door and approached the pharmacist who was behind the counter.  Rodriguez displayed a handgun to the pharmacist and instructed him to open the safe.  Rodriguez then removed numerous pill bottles from the safe, placed them in a plastic bag and exited the store.

In pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce through robbery, Rodriguez admitted his role in the robbery of the East Hartford CVS.  Rodriguez also admitted to participating in 10 additional pharmacy robberies between June 2013 and November 2013, including robberies of a Rite Aid on Northampton Street in Holyoke, Mass., on June 19; a Rite Aid on Meadow Street in Chicopee, Mass., on June 30; a CVS on Longmeadow Street in Longmeadow, Mass., on July 13; a Rite Aid Pharmacy on Bridge Street in East Windsor, Conn., on August 8; a Walgreens on Deming Street in Manchester, Conn., on August 15; a CVS on Hazard Avenue in Enfield, Conn., on August 25; a Walgreens on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, Conn., on September 10; a Rite Aid Pharmacy on East Street in Plainville, Conn., on September 27; a Walgreens on West Street in Cromwell, Conn., on October 4, and a Walgreens on North Main Street in Providence, R.I., on November 9.

Controlled substances, including oxycodone, were stolen during each of the robberies, and what appeared to be a firearm was displayed or possessed during several of the robberies.

Rodriguez, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on May 16, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. 

U.S. Attorney Daly stated that the investigation is ongoing. This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, and the police departments in each town where the robberies occurred.


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