A federal grand jury has indicted a Gardiner man in connection with the Aug. 21 robbery of the Rite Aid Pharmacy in that city.

Jesse M. Mansir, 31, who has a Randolph address in state court documents, is charged with interference with commerce by robbery and is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor by Magistrate Judge John Nivison.

Mansir has been in custody on state charges since his arrest nine hours after the robbery occurred.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, whose office charged him with robbery and unlawful trafficking of oxycodone for allegedly trying to sell the stolen pills, indicated earlier that she expected federal prosecutors to take over the case and would move to dismiss the state charges once they did so.

In most instances, federal penalties for robbing pharmacies are much higher.

If convicted of the federal charge, Mansir faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on the federal charge. Each of the state charges carried maximum prison terms of 10 years.

Attorney James Nixon is listed as representing Mansir in federal court; the prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Todd Lowell.

In the probable cause affidavit by Gardiner police Detective Michael Durham, which was filed in state court, the officer says witnesses at the pharmacy reported that the robber said he had a gun and kept telling the pharmacists to hurry up.

Witnesses did not see a weapon, but video surveillance images showed the robber “kept one hand concealed in his clothing throughout the robbery,” Durham wrote.

The robber fled with bottles containing 200 pills and a GPS tracking device, and the bottle with the device was later found on Highland Avenue, police said.

Durham said he recognized the man on the video as Mansir because of previous police involvement, and numerous witnesses also identified Mansir as the robber.

“The note left behind was written on the back of a Hannaford receipt, which had been torn in half,” Durham wrote. Later, police found the other half of the torn supermarket receipt in a Highland Avenue apartment near the pharmacy, which is on Spring Street, Durham noted.

Less than two hours before the 10:35 a.m. robbery, Gardiner police had been called to a Highland Avenue apartment, where Mansir allegedly was fighting with his girlfriend. Police reports indicate Mansir told police he robbed the pharmacy to support his opiate addiction.

Mansir has been convicted previously of burglary and theft charges and has spent up to 18 months in prison at one time.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams