AUBURN, Maine — Ryan White pleaded guilty Monday to charges of robbery and stealing drugs from Rite Aid stores in Lewiston and Gray last year.
He entered the pleas in Androscoggin County Superior Court after acknowledging that he violated probation on an earlier robbery conviction; he did not request a deal on sentencing, which will be scheduled for late September or later.
White, 25, of Lewiston was indicted in February — along with Alexander Madore, 25, of Auburn — and charged with one count of robbery for attempting to rob a Lewiston pharmacy on Nov. 4, 2012. The pair were also charged in the robbery of a Rite Aid in Gray later that day, and while that case was originally being handled in Cumberland County, it was moved to Androscoggin County to be combined with the Lewiston case.
On Nov. 4, according to court records, Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies went to the Rite Aid on West Gray Road in Gray, where a man had handed the pharmacist a note demanding prescription drugs. The suspect fled the store after being given three bottles, one equipped with a GPS transmitter.
White and Madore split the pills, each taking 206 Percocet tablets.
According to Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson, White kept eight pills and sold the rest.
While police were investigating the Gray case, they learned of an attempted robbery earlier in the day in Lewiston in which the suspects had handed the pharmacist a note demanding Percocet, but got nervous and fled before getting any drugs when the pharmacist picked up the phone.
According to court records, the two then talked about robbing another Rite Aid store in Lewiston or Auburn, but thought the police might be looking for them and decided to head to Gray.
White and Madore were arrested Nov. 20; White has been held at the Androscoggin County Jail for a probation violation since then.
According to court records, White violated his probation being served as part of a 2009 conviction on similar charges of robbing pharmacies in Lewiston to get oxycodone. He was convicted and completed counseling through Family Treatment Drug Court early last year as part of his sentence, according to court records.
In 2009, he was convicted of two counts of robbery, one count of burglary, reckless conduct and two counts of theft in connection with crimes committed in October and December that year. He was sentenced to two days on each of the burglary and theft charges and three days on the reckless conduct charge, and required to serve three years probation.
One of the conditions of that probation was that he not use illegal drugs but, according to testimony offered during Monday’s plea, he admitted to using oxycodone and opiates between October and November 2012.
In April 2012, the Sun Journal published a letter to the editor from White in which he talked about his drug court experience, and his belief that “drug addiction is a disease that is treatable.”
He thanked everyone who was part of his drug court treatment, and said he was “no longer searching for drugs and my next fix. I have learned to be accountable for all my actions and how to effectively cope with any situation.”