CLINTON — A local man attempted to rob a local pharmacy Wednesday after placing the barrel of a shotgun on the store counter and claiming the mafia was involved, but the pharmacist refused to hand over any drugs, police said.

Police Chief Rusty Bell said Dana Bradford, 36, of Clinton, put a “black metal object” on the counter at Dirigo Drug on Main Street shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Bell said it was discovered later the metal object was the barrel of a 16-gauge shotgun. There was no firing mechanism on the gun, Bell said; it was literally just the barrel.

Bell said Bradford told the pharmacist at the store that the “Maine Mafia” had kidnapped his family and would kill them and would kill him, too. The pharmacist did not give Bradford the drugs, at which point Bradford said the Maine Mafia also would kill the pharmacist, who then rang a police alarm.

Senior Patrol Officer Karl Roy and Officer Gordon Mank responded to the call and discovered Bradford was still there, and he was arrested for attempted robbery. Bell said this was the first time police had dealt with Bradford.

Pharmacy representatives declined to comment Thursday.

Trina Bradford, Dana Bradford’s sister, said in an interview Thursday that her brother had a history with drug problems and robberies. She said his actions had “terrorized our family,” that he had been “raised in a good home,” and “unfortunately, he’s taken this path.”

Bell said there was no prior robbery in Bradford’s criminal report, but there were a number of prior thefts.

Trina Bradford said her brother had never used any type of firearm in a theft before. She said he had hurt himself in the past in order to get pharmaceuticals from the hospital, but she had never known him to be violent. In regard to his alleged comments to the pharmacist, she said her brother had once told a similar story about the Mafia to their mother’s neighbor, saying their mother was being held captive.

“We’re praying he gets put away for a while,” Trina Bradford said of her brother, saying that her family has tried unsuccessfully to get Bradford through rehabilitation programs.

This attempted robbery was unrelated to the recent pharmacy robbery in Skowhegan, in which a person robbed the Rite Aid on Madison Avenue, according to police. Skowhegan police are seeking Skowhegan resident Damien Towers in connection with that robbery.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

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Twitter: @colinoellis