June 22, 2018
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Augusta man charged with pharmacy robberies pleads guilty to federal drug charge

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — An Augusta man charged in state court with two pharmacy robberies last year in his hometown on Wednesday waived indictment in U.S. District Court and admitted to selling 37 oxycodone pills to a confidential informant the day after one of the robberies.

Michael Pierce, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of oxycodone, a highly addictive narcotic painkiller.

His sentencing date has not been set.

He could be called to testify next month against the woman accused of being involved in the drug deal to which he pleaded guilty.

Pierce, Jennifer Dowling of Augusta and Jeffrey Hodgkins, now deceased, were arrested June 20, 2012, by Augusta police, according to the Kennebec Journal. Pierce was charged in Kennebec County Superior Court with two counts of robbery in connection with May 8, 2012, and June 18, 2012, holdups of two different CVS pharmacies.

He is scheduled to plead guilty to the robbery charges Oct. 29, according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney. The alleged robber donned a fake beard and sunglasses in both cases and demanded oxycodone. No weapon was displayed in either robbery.

Dowling, 32, was charged with illegal possession of prescription medication in state court. She pleaded guilty to that charge last October and was sentenced to a year in prison, which was suspended, and ordered to pay a $400 fine. She also was sentenced to a year of probation, according to the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office.

She was indicted in October 2012 by a federal grand jury on one count of distribution of oxycodone. Dowling pleaded not guilty to that charge in December and was released on bail. She is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Hodgkins, who died April 19, 2013, was charged with robbery in connection with the June holdup in Kennebec County, the Augusta newspaper said. The charge was dismissed after his death.

Dowling and Pierce sold $1,000 worth of oxycodone pills to a confidential informant working with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in the Interstate 95 park-and-ride lot in West Gardiner, according to court documents. Dowling allegedly counted the money and handed the pills to Pierce, who was driving. Pierce gave the pills to the confidential informant, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

Pierce and Dowling, if convicted, face up to 20 years in federal prison and could be ordered to pay fines of up to $2 million.

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