AUGUSTA — A city man charged with the robbery of a Capitol Street pharmacy last November bragged about the holdup, which led to an anonymous tip that broke the case, police said.

Augusta police and FBI agents arrested James P. Rich, 28, Tuesday morning on a federal robbery charge, Augusta police Deputy Chief Jared Mills said in a news release.

Rich made an initial appearance Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Bangor and was released on standard conditions, including reporting to a probation officer.

“Our investigation leads us to believe that Rich acted alone,” Mills said. “No further arrests are anticipated in this case.”

Rich faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the federal robbery charge.
Rich is accused of robbing the Capitol Street CVS about 3 p.m. Nov. 28 and handing an employee a threatening note demanding oxycodone. An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court by FBI special agent Mark Miller said Rich wore a brown jacket, a black hooded sweatshirt, big sunglasses and a black ski mask that prevented the employee from determining the robber’s gender.

The robber reached over a customer at the counter to hand the employee a note, which was left behind.

“Don’t say a word. Give me your oxys,” the note said. “I am … serious.”

Employees put the pills in a CVS bag and the robber left on foot.

Two employees followed the robber out of the store, and one of those employees said the robber dropped clothing. Augusta police recovered a pellet gun and other items, including gloves, a neck warmer with a hood attached, sunglasses and a tan jacket, all of which police think the robber had discarded. Police found cigarette butts and a lighter inside the jacket.

A couple weeks after the robbery, a confidential informant called Augusta police to say a man named James had committed the robbery, Miller wrote. Police checked the address given by the informant and learned that Rich lived there. The same informant called at the end of January and gave the full name of James Rich.

According to the informant, Rich “bragged about committing the pharmacy robbery,” Miller wrote in his affidavit. “Rich allegedly stated that while running from the police, he discarded his clothing.”

Police met with Rich in February, and he eventually admitted to carrying out the robbery, Miller wrote. Rich told investigators he never intended to harm anyone but that he was addicted to opiates. Rich told police he hitchhiked to the pharmacy, according to the affidavit.

“He said he thought about committing the robbery for some time before working up the courage to do it,” Miller wrote.

Rich’s DNA and at least one other person’s were found on the blue lighter, the hood and the gloves found at the scene, Miller wrote. Rich’s DNA was found on neither the cigarette butts nor the pellet gun, Miller said.

The Capitol Street pharmacy was robbed three times in 2012.

According to Kennebec Journal archives, Rich was fined $350 in September 2010 for a conviction on marijuana possession. He was fined a total of $200 for convictions of sale of use of drug paraphernalia in April 2005 and May 2004. All of the convictions occurred in Augusta District Court.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.