SUMNER MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PHARMACY ROBBERIES
ARSENIO S. LOPEZ, 22, of Sumner, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two counts of pharmacy robbery for robbing pharmacies in Puyallup and Bonney Lake, Washington during 2008. Pharmacy robbery is a felony offense punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Court documents indicate that on Wednesday, January 30, 2008, at 8:30 p.m, LOPEZ entered the Rite-Aid Pharmacy located at 21302 SR 410 in Bonney Lake, Washington, wearing a hooded jacket and ski mask. He approached the pharmacy counter and demanded the pharmacy’s supply of oxycodone. LOPEZ ordered the pharmacy technician to the ground while the pharmacist retrieved the drugs. LOPEZ then ordered the pharmacist to the ground and left the pharmacy carrying several bottles of pills containing oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.
One week later, on Wednesday, February 6, 2008, at approximately 8:30 p.m, LOPEZ entered the Rite-Aid Pharmacy located at 1323 E. Main Avenue, in Puyallup, Washington, wearing similar clothing. LOPEZ handed a written note to the pharmacist which read: “Do exactly what this says and no one gets HURT! Take this bag and fill it with all the oxycontin and oxycodone you have. This includes 80 mg, 40 mg, 20 mg, 10 mg, 30 mg, 15 mg tablets. And don’t do anything dumb that could endanger you or your coworkers.” LOPEZ ordered the pharmacy technician to the ground while the pharmacist retrieved the drugs. LOPEZ then ordered the pharmacist to the ground and left the pharmacy carrying several bottles of oxycodone.
Police Officers stopped LOPEZ as he was driving away from a nearby parking lot. During a search incident to arrest, officers recovered the written demand note from LOPEZ, and found several bottles of oxycodone just taken from the pharmacy lying on the car seat next to him inside a plastic bag.
In addition to pleading guilty to the above robberies, LOPEZ admitted committing a similar robbery on January 24, 2008 of a Rite-Aid Pharmacy, located at 26200 Pacific Highway South, in Kent, Washington.
LOPEZ agreed to pay restitution to all three pharmacies for the value of the drugs taken.
LOPEZ is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on September 5, 2008.
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), Puyallup Police Department, Bonney Lake Police Department, and Kent 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.