News and Press Releases

Several Pharmacies Targeted In December 2007 Crime Spree

February 14, 2008

NICHOLAS A. DENT, 28, of Shoreline, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four felony counts of pharmacy robbery for robbing multiple pharmacies in the King County area over a span of several days in DECEMBER 2007. Pharmacy robbery is a felony offense punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment and a two hundred fifty thousand dollar fine.

In pleading guilty, Dent acknowledged that between December 4 and December 11, 2007, he robbed and attempted to rob a number of area pharmacies in order to obtain quantities of oxycodone. These robberies included the December 4, 2007 robbery of a Rite-Aid Pharmacy located at 20330 Ballinger Way NE, in Shoreline, Washington, the December 8, 2007 robbery of Maple Leaf Pharmacy located at 8830 Roosevelt Way NE, in Seattle, Washington, the December 9, 2007 robbery of a Walgreen’s Pharmacy located at 20725 Highway 99, in Lynnwood, Washington, the December 9, 2007 robbery of a Walgreen’s Pharmacy located at 17518 15th Avenue NE, in Shoreline, Washington, the December 10, 2007 robbery of a Safeway Pharmacy located at 17202 15th Avenue NE, in Shoreline, Washington, and the December 10, 2007 robbery of a Rite-Aid Pharmacy, located at 16222 Bothell-Everett Highway, in Mill Creek, Washington.

These robberies were committed in similar fashion by DENT. After targeting the pharmacy to rob, DENT walked into the pharmacy, and approached the pharmacy counter wearing a hooded jacket and bandana to cover his face. He then drew what appeared to be a black pistol, pointed the weapon at the duty pharmacist, and demanded all of the pharmacy’s stock of oxycodone or he would “shoot.” Upon receipt of the drugs from the pharmacy, he left the area.

On December 11, 2007, after being identified from a pharmacy surveillance film, DENT was arrested at his Shoreline, Washington residence. He was carrying $3,983 cash on his person. Inside his residence were some of the stolen drugs, including stock jars of “Oxycontin” in various strengths, clothing worn by DENT during the robberies, and an air soft pistol used by DENT during the robberies.

Drug Enforcement Administration Group Supervisor Ruth Carter stated, "DEA will continue to aggressively pursue and seek federal prosecution of individuals who commit violent offenses against DEA registrants, including pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other locations where controlled substances are kept."

In addition to pleading guilty, DENT agreed to pay restitution to each of the pharmacies for their losses.

DENT is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on May 16, 2008. DENT was ordered held in custody pending sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mill Creek Police Department, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Seattle, Washington.

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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