Lodi Man Pleads guilty to pharmacy robberies
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Anthony Carriola, 28, Lodi, Wis., pleaded guilty today to committing two armed robberies of pharmacies and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of one of them.
At the plea hearing, Carriola admitted that he robbed the Mount Vernon Pharmacy in Mount Vernon, Ind., on December 2, 2011. Carriola entered the pharmacy wearing a mask with a swastika on it and he displayed a small handgun. Carriola jumped the counter and told the employees, "Don't make me shoot you." Carriola obtained morphine and hydrocodone pills during the robbery.
Carriola also admitted robbing the Eannelli Pharmacy, Prairie du Sac, Wis., on January 10, 2012. Carriola wore a mask and jumped the counter. He brandished a .44 magnum revolver and told the pharmacy employees to get on the ground. Carriola then went to an aisle where the licensed pharmacist was walking and pointed a handgun at the pharmacist’s face. The pharmacist grabbed the gun and wrestled with Carriola, who was demanding 100 milligram morphine pills. An employee retrieved two bottles of morphine pills from the safe and subsequently gave them to Carriola.
Pharmacy customers in a vehicle at the drive-thru window witnessed what was occurring in the pharmacy and they called 911. They then saw Carriola leave through the back door and get into a silver Ford Focus. They provided the license plate number of the Ford Focus, which was registered to Carriola's mother in Lodi. Police went to her home and located the Ford Focus. Officers subsequently searched the car and found a .44 caliber Sturm Ruger revolver underneath the front passenger seat and one blue morphine tablet was also found on a floorboard of the car.
Carriola was arrested at a local hotel on January 12, 2012. Law enforcement officers verified the room Carriola was staying in and obtained a warrant to search the room. Among other things, blue morphine pills from the robbery were recovered.
Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for July 23, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Carriola faces statutory maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for each of the robberies. Carriola will receive a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison for brandishing the firearm during the Eannelli Pharmacy robbery. That seven-year sentence will be ordered to run consecutively to the sentence(s) he receives for the robberies.
The charges against Carriola are the result of an investigation by the Mount Vernon, Ind. Police Department, Sauk Prairie Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita M. Rumbelow.
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