A Chelsea woman has pleaded guilty to helping one of the men accused of robbing a pair of Augusta pharmacies last year.

Nicole A. Breton, 21, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to being an accessory after the fact to the Sept. 2 robberies of Rite Aids on North Belfast Avenue and Hospital Street. The robberies occurred just 20 minutes apart.

An accessory after the fact is a person who knowingly comforts or assists the offender to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell said in a news release.

Breton faces up to 10 years in prison, $125,000 in restitution and three years of supervised release.

Breton’s plea comes just a few weeks after Dominic J. Pomerleau, 21, of Augusta, pleaded guilty in the same court to the federal equivalent of robbery and attempted robbery. He awaits sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on each charge.

A third person allegedly connected to the robberies, 26-year-old Lance M. Szady of Augusta, like Pomerleau is facing federal charges of robbery and attempted robbery. Szady, who has already served a state prison sentence for a 2010 pharmacy robbery, has yet to be indicted on the federal charges but has been charged by complaint.

Lowell said Breton was waiting for Pomerleau in the getaway car after he robbed the Hospital Street Rite Aid.

“She emptied the pills from the bottles and threw the empty bottles and caps out of the car window,” Lowell said.

Pomerleau, Breton and Szady fled to Breton’s home, where they “spent the night consuming many of the stolen oxycodone pills,” Lowell said.

Szady allegedly told investigators he drove Pomerleau to the two Rite Aids.

Both Szady and Breton told investigators that they and Pomerleau had been swimming at Breton’s 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, where Pomerleau handed the pharmacist a note that read: “I have a gun. Don’t push the button or I’ll shoot,” according to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Cameron Mizell.

The robber demanded the painkiller oxycodone and Ritalin, which is a brand name for methylphenidate, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

The affidavit did not say whether Pomerleau actually had a gun.

“Hurry,” the note said. “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 ran 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.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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