News and Press Releases

EDMONDS MAN SENTENCED FOR PHARMACY ROBBERY
Multiple Pharmacies Targeted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2008

CHRISTIAN KLASSEN, 26, of Edmonds, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 48 months in prison and three years supervised release for Pharmacy Robbery. KLASSEN targeted pharmacies in Marysville, Washington and in Edmonds, Washington. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez ordered KLASSEN to undergo drug treatment as part of his sentence.

Court documents indicate that on July 31, 2007, KLASSEN and co-conspirator Justin Bacus attempted to rob the Albertson’s Pharmacy at 11401 NE State Avenue (Smokey Point Boulevard), in Marysville, Washington. It was decided between KLASSEN and Bacus that Bacus would enter the pharmacy with a gun and demand oxycodone, while KLASSEN remained in a vehicle outside acting as the “get away” driver. Once inside the pharmacy, Bacus handed the pharmacist a note which read: “Give me all your Oxycontin or I’ll start shooting.”, exposing the handle of a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The pharmacist started yelling and ran away from the counter. Bacus then ran from the pharmacy where he was picked up by KLASSEN. After driving a short distance, their vehicle was stopped by police. Under the front seat of their car was the .22 caliber pistol used in the robbery. Also in the car was a shotgun, a pellet gun, and drug use paraphernalia, including a pill crusher.

KLASSEN also admitted that several days prior, on July 22, 2007, he and Bacus robbed a Rite-Aid Pharmacy, at 22515 Highway 99 in Edmonds, Washington, successfully absconding with several bottles of oxycodone. That robbery was committed during daylight hours in like manner as the Albertson’s Pharmacy robbery, with Bacus entering the pharmacy and KLASSEN acting as the “get away” driver.

KLASSEN was also ordered to pay restitution to the pharmacies for the value of the drugs taken.
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 was 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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