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Press Release

West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty in Two Western PA Pharmacy Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Fairmont, West Virginia, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery of a pharmacy, robbery of a pharmacy, brandishment of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and possession with the intent to distribute Schedule II controlled substances, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Dana Lee Shipley, 51, pleaded guilty to four counts before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on March 11, 2016, Palmer's Pharmacy located in Russellton, (Allegheny County) Pennsylvania, was robbed by two individuals armed with firearms and wearing masks. The suspects stole approximately 10,000 dosage units of prescription drugs, including Oxycodone and Fentanyl, with an estimated street value of approximately $235,000. As a result of their comprehensive and extensive investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and West Deer Police Department developed a general description of at least one suspect.

On April 28, 2016, Keystone Pharmacy located in New Alexandria Boro, (Westmoreland County) Pennsylvania, was robbed by two individuals wearing masks. One suspect had a gun and the other had pepper spray. The assailants placed employees on the ground and handcuffed them. Investigators determined that between 15,000 - 20,000 dosage units were stolen. Noting the similarities between both robberies, DEA then coordinated its investigation with that of the Pennsylvania State Police to identify and arrest the individuals in question. After locating and interviewing one suspect, agents secured a full confession. Immediately thereafter, the other suspect, Dana Shipley, was identified and arrested. When he was arrested, Shipley had a backpack containing a large amount of pills, money from the New Alexandria robbery and both masks used in the New Alexandria robbery. Shipley also had a .32 caliber firearm used in the commission of the crime concealed in his pocket. Shipley has an extensive criminal history and had recently been released from prison after serving time for armed robbery.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for October 2, 2017. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, Judge Ambrose ordered that the defendant remain detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Shanicka L. Kennedy is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police and the West Deer Township Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Shipley.

Updated May 19, 2017

Prescription Drugs