A man facing federal charges of aiding and abetting two pharmacy robberies in September has already done time in state prison for robbing an Augusta pharmacy in June 2010.

Lance M. Szady, 26, of Augusta, is charged in connection with the Sept. 2, 2014, robberies of two Augusta Rite Aid pharmacies that occurred within 20 minutes of each other. Investigators said he drove the robber to and from the pharmacies.

Szady and Dominic J. Pomerleau, 21, of Augusta, who is charged with committing the robberies, are scheduled to be in front of a judge Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Nichole A. Breton, 20, of Chelsea, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact in connection with the robberies for allegedly being in the car while the robberies took place and using the stolen oxycodone. She was arraigned on the charge on Tuesday in federal court and is being held without bail.

All three defendants are scheduled to be in court in Bangor again this week, and the prosecutor is seeking to have them remain behind bars. All three are in state custody on other charges.

The federal prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Todd Lowell, wants Szady held without bail by federal authorities if he is released from state custody.

“The defendant has a significant criminal history and there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a serious crime of violence that will expose him to a lengthy potential jail sentence,” Lowell wrote in the motion.

Lowell says Szady was on probation for his previous pharmacy robbery and multiple storage unit burglaries when the later robberies occurred, and has been held on a probation violation charge since Sept. 3.

In January 2011, Szady pleaded guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court to 53 separate charges, including the 2010 CVS Pharmacy robbery and dozen break-ins at self-storage units and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but 3 1/2 years suspended and three years probation — a sentence recommended by both the state and the defense attorney.

Szady’s attorney at the time, Lisa Whittier, told the court he had a severe substance abuse problem and was hoping to get into treatment while in prison.

According to state records, Szady was released from prison on Maine State Prison July 19, 2013, and began his probation.

Documents filed in state court in connection with Szady’s earlier robbery case indicate he spent most of the time from when he was 15 to 18 at Mountain View Youth Development Center and was occasionally hospitalized in the psychiatric unit at Acadia Hospital in Bangor.

“There is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance as required and the safety of the community,” Lowell says in the federal case.

Szady is being represented in federal court by attorney Joseph M. Bethony. No responses to the claims were filed yet by any of the defendants’ attorneys.

The same language appears in Lowell’s motion to have Pomerleau kept behind bars.

Pomerleau, too, was on probation when the pharmacy robberies occurred, Lowell says. Pomerleau was convicted in January 2012 of eluding an officer and sentenced to four years in jail with all but nine months suspended and two years’ probation. Other documents filed in state court say Pomerleau had that probation revoked several times and had been released after serving six months in jail only four days prior to the pharmacy robberies.

Pomerleau has been held in state custody since his arrest on a probation violation charge on Sept. 5. He is represented on the federal charges by attorney James S. Nixon.

Documents filed in the federal case indicate that Szady and Breton dropped Pomerleau off at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta on the morning after the robberies.

Material filed in Breton’s case say Breton told investigators the trio spent the evening of the robberies using the stolen pills as well as cocaine.

“At one point in the night, she and Szady returned to the house to find Pomerleau passed out and foaming at the mouth,” says an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Cameron Mizell, who sought the warrant for Breton’s arrest. Another document says Pomerleau lay halfway in a closet and was not breathing.

Lowell also is seeking to have Breton detained, saying she was on bail on state charges when the robberies occurred.

“She has a significant history of drug abuse,” Lowell wrote. Breton was on bail on charges of robbing a man of $260 after he was hit over the head with a bottle of Bud Lite in Augusta.

According to Augusta police, the victim had given Breton and two men a ride from Chapel Street to a Northern Avenue address about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 8.

Attorney Ronald Bourget was appointed to represent Breton on the federal charge.

Szady allegedly told investigators he drove Pomerleau to the two Rite Aid locations. Both he and Breton told investigators she, Szady and Pomerleau had been swimming at her aunt’s in Augusta and left in Szady’s car, stopping first at McDonald’s on Bangor Street where she got paper and a pen. Pomerleau then wrote on it, she said.

The first robbery occurred at 5:30 p.m. at the Rite Aid on North Belfast Avenue, when a man — allegedly Pomerleau — handed the pharmacist a note that read, “I have a gun. Don’t push the button or I’ll shoot,” according to Mizell’s affidavit. The robber demanded oxycodone and Ritalin. The affidavit did not say whether Pomerleau actually had a gun.

“Hurry,” the note demanded. “Make it a minute or less. Act normal.”

Mizell wrote that the phone rang as the pharmacist was getting the pills, at which point the robber fled out of the store before getting the pills.

“Witnesses provided a description of the man,” Mizell wrote. “That description included information about distinctive tattoos on the man’s arms and neck.”

Pomerleau has a variety of tattoos, including a large star on his neck, that are clearly visible in a variety of posts on his Facebook page.

About 20 minutes after the first robbery, a man in a different color T-shirt robbed the Rite Aid on Hospital Street. The man again approached the pharmacy counter with a note that threatened a gun and demanded oxycodone, Mizell wrote. The robber was given pills and fled the store. Witnesses’ descriptions of the robber, including the distinctive tattoos, matched those provided after the first robbery, Mizell wrote.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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