You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 21, 2021

Palatka Man Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison For Armed Robberies Of Pharmacies

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas Barber has sentenced Arsenio Dennis (31, Palatka) to 22 years in federal prison for robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The court also ordered Dennis to pay $46,236 in restitution, and to forfeit a firearm and ammunition that were seized during the investigation.

Dennis had pleaded guilty on February 17, 2021.

According to court documents, between August 2017 and March 2018, several pharmacies in the Middle District of Florida were robbed in a similar manner. The robbers wore disguises or other clothing to conceal their identity, used firearms to rob the pharmacists, took prescription opioids, and used local drug dealers to sell the pills. Investigators determined that several coconspirators had planned and committed the robberies, and Dennis was involved in at least three of them.

In August 2017, Dennis robbed pharmacies in Tampa and Lakeland. On both occasions, he entered the pharmacy, jumped over the counter, pointed a firearm at the pharmacist’s head and demanded opioids. He then took bottles containing prescription opioid pills and put them in a bag. Dennis ordered the pharmacists to lay on the ground and count to 1,000, then walked out of the store.     

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Apopka Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Sinacore.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated May 21, 2021