Windham man who overdosed charged with robbing pharmacy in March

Posted June 05, 2013, at 11:11 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Windham man who in March allegedly robbed a pharmacy and then overdosed on the stolen painkillers has been charged in U.S. District Court.

Derek Johnson, 37, was charged Tuesday with interference with commerce by robbery.

His first appearance in federal court has not been set.

Johnson originally was charged with robbery and theft in state court and is being held at the Cumberland County Jail, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. If he is convicted on the federal charge, the state charges most likely would be dismissed.

The Windham man approached an employee at the Hannaford pharmacy on Roosevelt Trail in Windham and demanded hydromorphone , according to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland. Jackson lifted his shirt and showed the employee a “large knife, half of which was tucked inside his pants.” The robber grabbed the knife handle as he made the demand, the affidavit said.

The employee gave Jackson 250 hydromorphone pills, according to the affidavit. He fled and called a family member.

Jackson allegedly confessed to the robbery and threatened suicide while on the phone. He also said that earlier in the day, he had twice entered a CVS pharmacy in North Windham intending to rob it but the line was too long and he left, the affidavit said. The family member called police to report what Jackson had said.

When Windham police and deputies from the Cumberland County sheriff’s office arrived at Jackson’s home, they saw a “knife or machete,” between 15 and 18 inches long, inside his car, according to the affidavit. Before police could enter the enter the residence, family members arrived and went in.

They soon came out of the home seeking help for a medical emergency, the affidavit said. Officers found Jackson in “an apparent overdose state.”

Three days later, a Windham police detective interviewed Jackson at the Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook. Jackson said that he owned a machete-type knife but he did not remember the robbery, the affidavit said. The defendant also said that he recalled demanding the drugs from the pharmacy employee. Jackson also said he had been drinking beer and taking klonopin, an anti-seizure medication, prior to the robbery, the affidavit said.

If convicted, Jackson faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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