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Press Release

Singleton Sentenced for Nine Pharmacy Burglaries

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

Acting United States Attorney Steve Butler of the Southern District of Alabama announces that Elyric Nathaniel Singleton, III was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Granade to 97 months in federal prison for his role in nine pharmacy burglaries.

Singleton entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Controlled Substances. He admitted in his plea agreement that on May 21, 2016, he and another individual entered Jim's Drug Store, in Lucedale, Mississippi by breaking through the front door, and that they attempted to steal Controlled Substances. Patrol units in the area heard an audible alarm coming from the pharmacy and pulled into the parking lot. Singleton and the other individual observed the patrol units and fled the building by breaking out the drive-thru window with a crowbar. They left a box they had filled with Controlled Substances from the pharmacy on the floor of the pharmacy in their haste to flee. Both Singleton and the other individual eluded capture at that time. Officers located a 2015 Dodge Journey vehicle parked behind the drug store with a T-shirt covering the tag.

An Investigator with the Lucedale Police Department collected a blue crowbar, discarded behind the pharmacy, and obtained a search warrant for the Dodge Journey. The Investigator located identification for two individuals, Singleton and the other individual, in the Dodge. Officers also located empty Walmart bags in the Dodge, which contained Walmart price tags. The price tags were from purchases at a Walmart in Mobile, Alabama. Video of the purchases showed Singleton and the other individual making purchases of clothing from Wal-Mart. The items purchased included clothing, which matched certain clothing worn by Singleton and the other individual during the Lucedale burglary. Business records from Hertz Rental Cars show Singleton had rented the Dodge in Mobile, Alabama on May 20, 2016.

Singleton also admitted that on March 3, 2016, prior to the Mississippi burglary, he and the other individual committed pharmacy burglaries in both Opp and Elba, Alabama. On April 2, 2016, Singleton and the other individual committed pharmacy burglaries in both Auburn and Wetumpka, Alabama, and an attempted burglary in Opelika, Alabama. On April 4, 2016, three similar pharmacy burglaries were committed by Singleton and the other individual in the Mobile, Alabama and Florida panhandle area. In each burglary, Singleton and the other individual, stole or attempted to steal Controlled Substances from the pharmacies.

Singleton rented at least twelve vehicles in his name between January 1, 2016 and May 21, 2016. Singleton rented some of the vehicles in Houston, Texas, some in Chicago, Illinois, and one in Mobile, Alabama. Singleton’s cell phone showed texts to several individuals, during the period of the burglaries, notifying the text recipients there were pills available and the price of the pills. Phone data, from February 26, 2016, thru September May 20, 2016, was located on Singleton’s cell phone showing SMS messages sent and received which indicated Singleton utilized the phone to facilitate the distribution of quantities of prescription medications, which were Controlled Substances.

Acting United States Attorney Steve Butler said, “The theft of prescription drugs is a reprehensible act, particularly in the height of this ongoing opioid crisis. Not only do the stolen prescription drugs cost the pharmacy thousands of dollars to replace, but the stolen drugs also fuel the drug habits of those addicted to prescription medication. Mr. Singleton’s actions were reprehensible, and we are pleased that Judge Granade sentenced him to a lengthy stay in federal prison.”

“This investigation highlights the impact multiple agencies can have when they join forces. We will continue to work together with our local law enforcement partners and pursue those who threaten our communities through their criminal activities. The successful prosecution of this individual should put others who engage in this type of activity on notice,” stated Stephen G. Azzam, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Orleans Field Division.

The DEA in Mobile, along with the Baldwin County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office investigated this matter. The Lucedale, Mississippi Police Department; the Opp, Opelika, and Wetumpka, Alabama Police Departments; the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office, and the Robertsdale, Alabama Police Department, along with the Auburn Department of Public Safety assisted in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah Griffin and Christopher Bodnar prosecuted the case.

Updated July 12, 2017