Suspect in Rockland pharmacy robbery set to change plea

Elbert Ranquist Jr.
Courtesy of Knox County Jail
Elbert Ranquist Jr.
Posted April 14, 2014, at 8:39 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A 43-year-old Cushing man is scheduled to change his plea to guilty Thursday in federal court to a charge that he robbed a Rockland pharmacy at knifepoint.

Elbert Ranquist Jr. faces up to 20 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release if he follows through on pleading guilty to the single charge of interference with commerce by robbery. There is also a potential fine of up to $250,000.

Ranquist has been held in jail since his arrest on the evening of Aug. 5 for the robbery of Jensen Pharmacy.

The state originally charged Ranquist with robbery but acknowledged in court hearings that the FBI was investigating the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ranquist was then indicted on Nov. 20 by a federal grand jury.

An affidavit filed by police in Rockland District Court in August stated that Curtis Jensen, owner of Jensen’s Pharmacy, reported he had been robbed by Ranquist. Jensen said he recognized Ranquist because the suspect had been in the pharmacy two times earlier in the day to pick up prescriptions.

According to the affidavit, Ranquist went to the counter, pulled out a knife with a 4- to 5-inch blade and demanded oxycodone pills.

Ranquist was on probation for an arson conviction when arrested in connection with the pharmacy robbery.

The robbery at Jensen Pharmacy was the second that occurred within about a year. In August 2013, Michael Willis, 29, was sentenced to seven years in jail with all but 21 months suspended for robbing the pharmacy. He was also placed on probation for three years. That robbery occurred July 31, 2012.

 

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