A Gardiner man charged with robbing a pharmacy in that city last week has also been charged with an Augusta pharmacy robbery that took place earlier this month.

Rudger S. Ellis, 21, on Monday was charged with robbery in connection with the robbing of a Rite Aid on North Belfast Avenue Feb. 7, Deputy Chief Jared Mills of the Augusta police said in a release. Ellis was charged at the Kennebec County jail were he has been held since Friday, when he was arrested at his home and charged with robbery in connection with Wednesday’s holdup at the Rite Aid on Spring Street in Gardiner.

Ellis on Monday made his initial appearance in Waterville District Court via teleconference. He was ordered held at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail in connection with the Gardiner robbery. The hearing did not include the charges Augusta police brought on Monday.

Ellis also is charged with stealing oxycodone and unlawful possession of oxycodone.

An affidavit by Gardiner Police Detective Michael Durham says Ellis told the pharmacist that he wanted all the oxycodone 30 mg pills at the pharmacy. He was given the pills and fled from the store.

“The suspect did not threaten use of a weapon, nor did he display a weapon or use any force during the commission of the crime,” Durham said. “The employees at the pharmacy were scared and clearly felt threatened by the conduct of the suspect.”


A witness told police that a green Pontiac Sunfire was parked on Spring Street with a man behind the wheel and a man in the front passenger’s seat, who got out and walked toward Rite Aid.

That same man later came running back to the car, which then drove away west on Spring Street, Durham wrote.

Police responding to the robbery passed the Pontiac, but did not stop it because they didn’t know it had allegedly been used in the robbery, Durham wrote.

Augusta detectives Sgt. Jason Cote and Eric Dos Santos, who were investigating the Feb. 7 North Belfast Avenue Rite Aid robbery, looked at the surveillance video of the Gardiner robbery at Durham’s request and said the Augusta robber demonstrated the same behavior as the Gardiner robber. The man in the Augusta holdup, however, told employees he had a firearm.

Detective Michael Bickford of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office contacted Durham on Friday after a “cooperating defendant” at the jail pointed to 39-year-old Steven Chaput as a potential accomplice in the Gardiner robbery.

Chaput has a green Pontiac Sunfire, Durham said. Durham, Cote and Dos Santos on Friday interviewed Chaput at a home in Chelsea where he is staying.


“Steven admitted that he did drive the suspect, who he identified as Rudger Ellis, to the Rite Aid in Gardiner and previously to the Rite Aid in Augusta where Rudger committed robberies,” Durham said. Chaput said Ellis gave him drugs as payment for the taxi service.

Ellis was arrested Friday evening in connection with the Gardiner robbery. Just after noon on Monday, Dos Santos and Cote formally charged Ellis in connection with the Augusta Rite Aid robbery, according to a press release from the Augusta Police Department.

Augusta police also said they anticipate charging one or more accomplices “in the near future.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642


Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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