A Wilmington man has pleaded guilty to a string of armed robberies reported at area pharmacies over the past year.
Jason Christopher Stash, 35, was initially charged with six counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon in connection with a January armed robbery and five additional armed robberies reported since April 2014, according to court records.
Stash pleaded guilty in New Hanover County Superior Court on Monday to five counts of common-law robbery. One count of common-law robbery was dismissed, according to Ebony Williams, spokeswoman for the District Attorneys’ Office.
Stash also pleaded guilty to trafficking opium after police officers reportedly found more than 3,000 prescription pills when they searched his home in January, Williams said.
Superior Court Judge Phyllis Gorham sentenced Stash to 18 years in the N.C. Department of Corrections.
The most recent armed robbery–reported Jan. 8 at a Rite Aid on Shipyard Boulevard–prompted three area schools to be placed on lockdown.
Police arrested Stash about an hour after the Rite Aid robbery and charged him with the additional robberies, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Linda Rawley.
“Police say Stash is suspected of committing six different pharmacy robberies since April 2014,” Rawley said in January. “Those robbery locations include Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and Kings Pharmacy.”
Other robberies for which Stash was charged include:
- Rite Aid, 4502 Shipyard Blvd., reported at 2:24 p.m. Dec. 11, 2014
- Walgreens, 4521 Oleander Drive, reported at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2014
- Walgreens, 4521 Oleander Drive, reported at 4:20 p.m. April 20, 2014
- CVS, 4600 Oleander Drive, reported at 3:45 p.m., Sept. 21, 2014
- King’s Pharmacy, 2231 S. College Road, reported at 10:58 a.m. May 7, 2014
“During the course of these crimes, Stash threatened employees with what investigators believe was a BB gun disguised to look like a real firearm,” Williams said. “He would then force employees to give him prescription pills from the pharmacy area, often loading them into a plastic bag before fleeing.”
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