Two defendants in Walgreens heist to be sentenced in federal court

After 19-year-old Anthony W. Post lost his nerve last January and failed to go through with robbing the Walgreens Pharmacy in Augusta, his cousin, Stephanie L. McCormick, berated him.

“You couldn’t do it, could you?” McCormick said, accusing him in coarse language of wimping out.

About 15 minutes later, Post walked into the CVS Pharmacy on Stone Street, screwed up his courage and gave the pharmacist a note stating, “Quickly & Calmly put All oxycodone in bag If not I have a gun & will start shooting No Scene!”

Post fled on foot with eight bottles of pills, running several blocks to a car where McCormick was waiting.

McCormick grabbed the bottles, quickly emptied them and threw them and a tracking device out of the vehicle as it sped toward Whitefield.

U.S. District Court Chief Justice John A. Woodcock Jr. lays out the details of the Jan. 22 robbery, including the planning and the aftermath, in a sentencing memo that concludes McCormick was “an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor” in the commission of pharmacy robbery and is therefore subject to a lengthier prison term — 41 to 51 months rather than 33 to 41 months.

“The court finds that the idea to rob a pharmacy solely originated with Ms. McCormick, not with Mr. Post,” Woodcock wrote. “Ms. McCormick first described her prior success in robbing a pharmacy and told Mr. Post that he could get away with the robbery because he was not known in the Augusta area … Mr. Post’s initial response was that he thought she was crazy.”

Woodcock’s sentencing ruling was issued two weeks ago in anticipation of Tuesday’s 1 p.m. sentencing hearing for McCormick in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

McCormick’s attorney, Joseph Bethony, had sought to have a lower sentencing guideline used.

Post, McCormick and Candice Marie Eaton, then 26, of Augusta, who drove the getaway vehicle, have all pleaded guilty to charges related to the robbery. Eaton is to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and Post in early January, both in the same court. The Jan. 22, 2013, robbery was the first of several prosecuted in federal court after Kennebec/Somerset District Attorney Maeghan Maloney worked out an intergovernmental agreement to try to stem the rising number of pharmacy robberies in the capital. Augusta had nine in 2012, the most in the state.

Woodcock concluded that McCormick, 23, prevailed upon Post, who is from the Lewiston/Auburn area, to get high when he visited her Augusta home and injected him with oxycodone after he became squeamish about the needle. Post initially refused the drugs because he was on probation for burglary and worried the substance would be found in his bloodstream, according to court records.

At various times in the couple of days before and after the robbery, McCormick and Post are described as shooting up on oxycodone and then becoming sick as it left their system.

Woodcock says McCormick provided the clothing and wrote the robbery note while wearing gloves she later gave Post to use during the robbery, she “recruited other associates,” including Eaton and a minor, and took the pills from Post as soon as he got to the car.

When Post sold two of his share of the pills shortly after the robbery, McCormick “became angry with him and demanded half of the proceeds,” Woodcock wrote. Post gave it to her.

And once authorities and others identified Post as the robber from photos taken from surveillance videos at the two pharmacies, McCormick gave him $20 for cab fare and took almost all his remaining pills, telling him he didn’t want to be caught with them.

Post was arrested three days after the robbery, and McCormick the following week. Eaton was arrested in March.

Betty Adams — 621-5631badams@centralmaine.comTwitter: @betadams