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Post-surgical pain leads to pill addiction, pharmacy robberies

When a Lansing, Michigan, husband and father had gastric bypass surgery a few years ago, he figured it would be a life-changing event. Indeed it was -- but for all the wrong reasons. The man became addicted to Vicodin during his recovery, and took desperate measures to feed his addiction. He turned to a life of crime to get the drugs he craved.

And it wasn't just buying illicit drugs. Instead, the man elected to rob several pharmacies in Ingham County and surrounding areas to obtain the Vicodin. He was finally arrested in January after a police pursuit that topped 100 mph and went through two counties. The man ended up being charged with 13 felony counts including several counts of armed robbery.

This week in a Lansing courtroom, he was sentenced on two counts of armed robbery and a single felony firearm charge. The man, who had been a 12-year employee of Hewlett-Packard, in court expressed extreme remorse for his actions and apologized to his family for what he had done.

His words were not enough to assuage one of the pharmacists he had robbed, however. She said that she needed to be medicated to go into work every day without feeling afraid or that another robbery would take place. She suggested that the man could have used less violent methods to get the drugs rather than resort to armed robbery.

Ultimately, despite his remorse and many letters of support, the judge sentenced him to 11 years in prison. The man will receive substance abuse treatment while incarcerated and must also pay restitution to the pharmacies he robbed.

If you're bound by drug addiction and face charges and/or sentencing by the court, it is imperative to hire an experienced defense attorney who can protect your interest and present a solid defense.

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Serial pharmacy robber gets 11 years in prison," Laura Misjak, May 16, 2012

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