Dayton man latest sentenced in string of region’s pharmacy robberies

A 22-year-old Dayton man is the latest person to be sentenced in connection with a string of 36 burglaries across the region dating back to October 2016.

Jamie D. Williams was sentenced in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to four years and three months in prison. He had earlier pleaded guilty to two of five indicted counts filed. The other three counts involving three other pharmacy robberies were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice said Friday that one count of interference with commerce through attempted robbery involved Williams demanded OxyContin but left after a pharmacy employee called 911.

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In the other count for interference with commerce through robbery, Rice said Williams passed a note saying he had a weapon and left the CVS at 4910 N. Main St. with $6,704 worth of prescription medication.

“They are serious,” Rice said of Williams’ robbery attempts and dangerous driving after leaving a pharmacy. “They are terrifying, whether he had a weapon or not.”

Rice also ordered Williams to three years of supervised release, including getting employment or job training and drug treatment and a mental health assessment plus 100 hours of community service and to pay restitution.

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Assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi said Williams’ crimes were “doubly serious” because bystanders could have been injured by Williams’ actions and that the defendant has six felony convictions as an adult.

“It appears that (Williams) currently poses a danger to the community and represents a substantial risk of recidivism,” Tabacchi wrote in a sentencing memo while advocating for a “significant term of incarceration.”

Williams said his addiction moved from marijuana to liquid codeine and prescription pills.

“I just want to say I apologize for the crime I did,” said Williams, who added that he had attended Sinclair Community College and would like one day to be a business owner. “I want to do my prison term and learn as much as I can about what I want to do with myself.”

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In a letter to Rice, Williams wrote: “I was wrong for my actions, I should not let my addiction take control like it did.”

Defense attorney Lawrence Greger asked for a 4-year sentence with three years of supervision.

Rice noted that Williams was diagnosed with ADHD as a youth, had a lengthy juvenile criminal record and didn’t have any meaningful contact with his father — what the judge called a common theme in his court.

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“We need to find some way to take people like Mr. Williams … and frankly provide them male role models,” Rice said. “Mothers and grandmothers do everything they can, but they aren’t fathers.”

Rice further said he was angry that as a community and a country that there is so little focus on what brings men and women to court.

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“Instead of minimal cost programs that might actually help people,” Rice said, “we as a society much prefer to make the prison industry a significant part of the economy of this state and country.”

Tabacchi said Williams is the third sentenced of at least 10 defendants charged with recent pharmacy robberies. Eric Bates and Yasar Burnett were sentenced to eight and six years, respectively.


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