News and Press Releases

Oxycontin Addict Targeted Multiple Pharmacies in North Seattle and Shoreline

May 16, 2008

NICHOLAS A. DENT, 28, of Shoreline, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of federal supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $13,947 for four counts of Pharmacy Robbery. During one week in early December 2007, DENT, an oxycodone addict, robbed or attempted to rob seven pharmacies of their Oxycontin. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said, “Oxycontin is one of the most addictive drugs this court has ever seen in all my years of doing this.”

According to records filed in the case, DENT would enter the pharmacy in a hooded jacket with a bandana covering his face. Pointing what appeared to be a pistol at the pharmacist, DENT would demand all the Oxycontin and oxycodone in the pharmacy. DENT would threaten to shoot the pharmacist if he or she did not comply. DENT actually was armed with an air soft pellet gun, but the pharmacy personnel and the customers believed the gun to be real. DENT admitted in his plea agreement that on December 4, 2007, he robbed the Rite-Aid Pharmacy on Ballinger Way in Shoreline, on December 8, 2007, he robbed the Maple Leaf Pharmacy at 8830 Roosevelt Way in Seattle, on December 9, 2007, he robbed the Walgreens Pharmacy on 15th Ave NE in Shoreline, and on December 10, 2007, he robbed the Safeway Pharmacy on 15th Ave. NE in Shoreline. On December 11, 2007, DENT attempted to rob Katterman’s Pharmacy on Sand Point Way in Seattle. Using surveillance video from that attempt, officers tracked DENT to his home in Shoreline where agents found oxycodone pills, cash and clothing worn in the robberies.

Judge Martinez noted that DENT had put a number of people in fear and danger, and that in some of the pharmacies customers who were particularly vulnerable and frail were present. “Heaven forbid that someone there had a real firearm and customers, or you, had been shot and killed,” the Judge told him.

This case is part of a continuing Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation focused upon the unlawful diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Department and the Mill Creek Police Department.

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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