A Mount Vernon man who drove the getaway vehicle during Rite Aid pharmacy robberies last year in Augusta and Gardiner was sentenced Tuesday to serve six years in federal prison.

The sentence for Steven C. Chaput, 40, formerly of Chelsea, was imposed in U.S. District Court in Bangor by Judge John A. Woodcock Jr.

Chaput had pleaded guilty last September to participating in the Feb. 7, 2015, pharmacy robbery at the Rite Aid on North Belfast Avenue in Augusta and a Feb. 18, 2015, pharmacy robbery at Rite Aid on Spring Street in Gardiner.

On April 6 in the same courtroom, Rudger Ellis, 23, was sentenced to five years for those robberies. Investigators said Ellis was the man who went into the pharmacies and demanded oxycodone, threatening to use a firearm. The charges accused Chaput of aiding and abetting in the robberies.

Chaput drove the Pontiac Sunfire as the getaway vehicle in both instances, and investigators say he helped plan the pharmacy robberies and acted as the lookout. The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Todd Lowell, filed documents with the court saying Chaput “provided Ellis with clothes and shoes to wear for the Augusta robbery.” Lowell wrote that Chaput traded some of the stolen pills for heroin and cocaine at Ellis’ request and sold pills for Ellis. The prosecutor also wrote that “Chaput sold some of the stolen pills to purchase heroin for himself.”

During Ellis’ sentencing hearing, Woodcock said Chaput had a more serious criminal history and faced a sentencing guideline range of 70 to 87 months.

Chaput’s prison term is to be followed by three years of supervised release.

He also was ordered to pay $726 in restitution, an amount to which Ellis was ordered to contribute as well.

Chaput was represented by attorney James S. Nixon.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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