Wednesday, May 22, 2013
An Auburn man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to the Jan. 22 robbery of the CVS Pharmacy on Stone Street in Augusta.
Anthony W. Post, 19, faces up to 20 years in prison as a result of that conviction, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Post's guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Bangor came the same day when a third suspect in the robbery -- the alleged getaway driver -- was arrested in Augusta.
Candice Marie Eaton, 26, of Augusta, is charged with being an accessory after the fact by helping "to hinder and prevent" the arrest and prosecution of Post and Stephanie L. McCormick, the woman who allegedly helped plan the robbery.
By pleading guilty, Post admitted robbing the CVS Pharmacy that day, and he will be sentenced later.
Police said he passed a note to the pharmacy technician demanding drugs. The note stated, "Quickly & Calmly put All oxycodone in bag If not I have a gun & will start shooting No Scene!."
The technician handed over several bottles of OxyContin pills and the robber fled. Investigators later found the pill bottles and caps discarded along Eastern Avenue. "No firearm was possessed or used," according to a news release Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Post was identified by several callers, including his mother and his father's girlfriend, after police broadcast images of the CVS robber and others surveillance video taken earlier that day at a nearby Walgreens pharmacy. Authorities say Post lost his nerve and didn't go through with a robbery at Walgreens, and instead went to the CVS.
Post confessed almost immediately, authorities said.
An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor by FBI Special Agent Cameron B. Mizell alleges that McCormick, 22, of Augusta, confessed to writing the note, although she specifically denied writing the threat to "start shooting."
Post and McCormick cooked up the scheme to rob Walgreens, Mizell said, and when that didn't work, they decided to target another pharmacy.
In interviews Jan. 28 at the Augusta Police Department, Eaton told investigators that McCormick called and asked Eaton to help in a robbery by driving.
Eaton said she refused and then went tanning. McCormick called repeatedly, finally telling Eaton she needed a cigarette.
When Eaton came by, McCormick asked for a ride across the bridge, saying she and Post would be "ripping someone off."
Eaton told authorities McCormick promised her a 30-milligram pill for the ride and another for parking and waiting on Arsenal Street.
Eaton said when Post returned, carrying a CVS bag, she realized Post had robbed the pharmacy.
In the affidavit, Eaton describes a chaotic ride, hearing McCormick tell Post to wipe his fingerprints off bottles before throwing them out the vehicle windows, and then McCormick realizing she had discarded bottles without wiping her fingerprints off.
Tests performed later at the Maine State Police laboratory showed McCormick's DNA on the cap of the pill bottle that held a GPS tracker, Mizell noted.
The couple also discarded clothing used in the robbery, and a juvenile in the car threw a scarf away as well, according to Eaton.
The group headed toward Whitefield, stopping at a store to buy spoons and water, and Eaton and McCormick said they stopped at a boat launch to inject oxycodone, according to Mizell.
The four people returned to a residence in Augusta to split the pills, then spent the night at a home in Richmond before the homeowner learned about the CVS robbery and told them to leave, Mizell's affidavit says.
The women then dropped off Post in Gardiner, giving him taxi fare.
Post was arrested Jan. 24, and McCormick on Jan. 31. They made initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Bangor and were ordered held. The complaint against Eaton was filed Friday but sealed until her arrest.
She appeared late Tuesday before Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk on the charge of being an accessory after the fact, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
According to federal court documents, Kravchuk set bail conditions, and Eaton was released on $10,000 unsecured bond with conditions prohibiting her from contact with Post and McCormick. Eaton is also banned from using alcohol and drugs.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631