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Press Release

Michigan Man Sentenced to Over 5 Years in Prison for Robbing String Of CVS Pharmacies for Prescription Pills

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT – Michigan resident Kristopher Kukola was sentenced yesterday for robbing several CVS pharmacies in Van Buren Township, Saline, and Milan, Michigan, before being arrested with the help of a decoy pill bottle, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

United States District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy sentenced Kukola to 63 months in prison.

Kukola, 39, robbed several CVS pharmacies in the same manner: demanding prescription pills, brandishing what the victims believed to be a gun, and ordering employees to lay on the floor. On the night of May 24, 2022, Kukola robbed a CVS Pharmacy in Van Buren Township, Michigan. He reached into a pocket of his jacket and stated, “I’m armed,” and showed the handle of what the victim believed to be a black handgun. He then directed one of the victims to lay on the ground. On June 2, 2022, he robbed a CVS Pharmacy in Saline, MI. This time, Kukola presented the victims with a list of medications and demanded that an employee give him everything on the list. He again displayed what appeared to be a black handgun and demanded that the victims lay on the floor. On June 8, 2022, Kukola returned to the Van Buren CVS from the first robbery. He handed a list of prescription drugs to an employee, stating “put everything on the list in the bag, or I will start shooting. I have a gun.” Kukola’s final robbery was on July 7, 2022, when he robbed a CVS in Milan, Michigan. Again, he handed an employee a list of prescription pills. But this time, the employee placed a decoy pill bottle with GPS tracking into Kukola’s bag.  The tracking device allowed law enforcement to follow Kukola, and ultimately led to his arrest.

“Our office remains steadfast in our commitment  to addressing violent crime  and protecting our community from the dangerous diversion of prescription drugs.” U.S. Attorney Ison said.  “ No one should have to fear for their lives because they work in a pharmacy, and I commend the quick thinking of the pharmacy employee in giving the defendant the decoy pill bottle that ultimately led to his arrest. 

"This case serves as an example of the FBI's relentless efforts to track down violent offenders who resort to fear and violence to steal dangerous prescriptions for personal gain," said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. "I want to thank Detroit's Violent Crimes Task Force for their diligent work identifying and capturing the defendant. The FBI is committed to pursuing those who engage in illegal activities that ruin the lives of Michigan residents."

This case was investigated by the Ann Arbor Police Department, Van Buren Township Police Department, Saline Police Department, Milan Police Department, Michigan State Police, and the FBI.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan Bean and Jasmine Moore.

Updated May 29, 2024

Prescription Drugs