An Anderson, Ind., man already serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison out of the Western District of Missouri for a pharmacy robbery was sentenced to an additional nine years in federal prison last week in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas for a similar crime that occurred in Hot Springs in June 2018.
Under a plea agreement, Jerome Scott King, 22, was sentenced in Hot Springs to 108 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of Robberies Involving Controlled Substances (Aiding and Abetting) and one count of Conspiracy and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Controlled Substance, with the two sentences to run concurrently.
The sentences were ordered to run consecutively with the 168-month sentence from Missouri.
King, along with two other unidentified males, entered the CVS Pharmacy in Hot Springs, brandished a weapon, and forced employees to give them around 3,794 hydrocodone pills of varying strengths, 3,037 oxycodone pills of varying strengths, and 825 oxycontin pills of varying strengths, with a wholesale value of $22,421.87, according to court documents.
King was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison, out of the Western District of Missouri, Central Division, for a similar pharmacy robbery in September 2019.
The local case was investigated by the Hot Springs Police Department and the FBI's Little Rock office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Achorn and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Daniels prosecuted the case.
"This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone," the U.S. attorney's office said in a news release.
"The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department's renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney's Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime."
A Western District grand jury originally returned a six-count indictment, and King agreed to plead guilty to two of the counts.
The court also recommended that King be allowed to participate in the Intensive Drug Treatment Program, mental health treatment/counseling and any educational and/or vocational programs he may be interested in while incarcerated. Restitution in the amount of $22,421.87 was also ordered.
According to the plea agreement, King and the two other "unknown and otherwise unidentified males" entered the pharmacy shortly before 7 a.m. on June 7, 2018, and encountered two employees.
King confronted one of the employees, stating "in an aggressive and violent manner that he wanted 'all the 'roxies' and oxycodone pills from the safe,' while also removing multiple zip-ties from his pocket, displaying same, and threatening to restrain" the employee.
After stealing the Schedule II controlled substances from the narcotics safe, King went to the front of the store, and at that point one of the unknown subjects removed a concealed handgun from his person and held one of the employees at gunpoint, demanding he open the cash registers.
King admitted the primary purpose of the robbery was to obtain Schedule II controlled substances for the purpose of illegal redistribution, the plea agreement said.