Bingham pharmacy robbery suspect pleads not guilty

Posted Nov. 02, 2011, at 11:26 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 02, 2011, at 5:33 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man charged with robbing a Bingham pharmacy at gunpoint in September pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court to a handful of charges.

James Stile, 55, of Sangerville pleaded not guilty to robbery of controlled substances from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-registered pharmacy, use of a firearm in the furtherance of a federal crime of violence, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants.

Stile was indicted on Sept. 20 by a federal grand jury in Bangor. The indictment was sealed until Tuesday.

Originally charged in state court, Stile has been held without bail since his arrest at his home the day after the robbery. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked that Stile continue to be held without bail until his case is resolved. The state charges are expected to be dismissed before the end of the year.

Stile allegedly robbed the E.W. Moore and Son Pharmacy at gunpoint about 5:20 p.m. Sept. 12. He reportedly tied up four pharmacy employees with zip ties, then fled with more than $12,000 worth of prescription drugs.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk set a bail hearing for Monday. She tentatively scheduled a trial for Jan. 9.

The complaint filed in federal court said that surveillance video showed a lone male enter the pharmacy wearing sunglasses, a dust mask over his face, a light-colored ball cap, a dark-colored windbreaker-type jacket, purple-colored latex gloves, bluejeans and hiking sneakers.

When he entered the pharmacy, Stile pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his pants, according to the complaint. When he approached the pharmacy, he climbed over the counter with the shotgun aimed in the direction of the employees.

The robber left behind a piece of the rubber glove that was ripped off and became stuck on one of the zip ties when it was being placed on one of the victims, according to court documents. Investigators found a ripped latex glove and dust mask in Stile’s house and clothes similar to those worn by the robber.

Information about whether the gun allegedly used in the robbery has been recovered was not included in the complaint. Several members of the state police dive team spent much of Oct. 6 searching for evidence along the swampy shore and murky depths of Carleton Stream in Sangerville, according to a previously published report. Part of the stream runs parallel to Route 23 across from Stiles’ home.

Stile was arrested the day after the robbery at his home, where investigators found more than 150 marijuana plants, according to previously published reports.

Stile faces up to 25 years in federal prison on the robbery charge alone. If it is proven that he threatened pharmacy employees with a gun, he faces an additional mandatory minimum of seven years.

On the other federal charges, Stile faces up to 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun and between five and 40 years for manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants.

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