News and Press Releases

STANWOOD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PHARMACY ROBBERY
Multiple Pharmacies Targeted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2007

JUSTIN BACUS, 27, of Stanwood, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to pharmacy robbery, and admitted targeting pharmacies in Marysville, Washington and in Edmonds, Washington. Pharmacy robbery is a felony offense punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment and a two hundred fifty thousand dollar fine.

Court documents indicate that at approximately 9:00 p.m. on July 31, 2007, BACUS walked into Albertson’s Pharmacy, located at 11401 NE State Avenue (Smokey Point Boulevard), in Marysville, Washington, and handed a demand note to the duty pharmacist which read: “Give me all your Oxycontin or I’ll start shooting. You have 60 seconds.” Oxycontin is a commercial brand of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. BACUS also put a hand into his waistband, exposing the handle of a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol which he was carrying in furtherance of the robbery. The pharmacist started yelling and ran away from the counter. BACUS then ran through an alarmed door at the rear of the pharmacy where he was picked up by a co-conspirator. Prior to the robbery, BACUS and his co-conspirator had driven their vehicle to the parking lot of Marshall Elementary School in Marysville, where they had removed a license plate from a vehicle, and placed it on their own vehicle in order to disguise their vehicle. Both BACUS and the second individual were stopped by police as they fled the scene of the Albertson’s Pharmacy. Under the front seat of their car was the .22 caliber pistol. Also in the car was a shotgun, a pellet gun, and drug use paraphernalia, including a pill crusher.

As part of his guilty plea, BACUS also admitted that several days prior, on July 22, 2007, both he and the second individual participated in the afternoon robbery of a Rite-Aid Pharmacy, located at 22515 Highway 99 in Edmonds, Washington, successfully absconding with several bottles of oxycodone. That robbery was committed in a like manner as the Albertson’s Pharmacy robbery, with BACUS entering the pharmacy and presenting a demand note to the pharmacist.

In addition to pleading guilty, BACUS agreed to pay restitution to the Rite-Aid Pharmacy for the value of the drugs taken.

BACUS is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on January 11, 2008.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA), the Marysville Police Department and the Edmonds Police Department.

This case was prosecuted as part of a series of cases by federal authorities in order to address pharmacies being targeted for burglaries and robberies in this area.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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