Portland man faces federal charges after allegedly robbing CVS pharmacy

Posted April 14, 2014, at 5:20 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland man faces federal robbery charges after police said he showed a CVS clerk what appeared to be a bomb and then stole a variety of narcotics from the Congress Street pharmacy Friday morning.

Just before 9 a.m. Friday, Jason Campbell, 39, allegedly walked into the CVS pharmacy at 510 Congress St. He opened a backpack at the pharmacy counter and showed an employee what looked like “a 2-liter-sized bottle of Mountain Dew with wires affixed to it” that could possibly have been an explosive device, according to an affidavit by Special Agent Thomas P. MacDonald of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Campbell also allegedly had in his hand a device that the witness believed was a cellphone, which he held “in a manner consistent with a detonator.”

He allegedly told the witness — who identified Campbell as a “regular customer” — that the device was “a gas bomb,” and that he allegedly said he “didn’t want to hurt anyone.” He said he was “depressed” and “wanted to kill myself,” according to the affidavit.

Campbell allegedly ordered the witness to have the store evacuated, close the gate on the front of the store and give him an unknown quantity of the narcotic opioid pain medications Duragesic, Demerol and Dilaudid.

The witness gave Campbell the requested narcotics, and he left the store, the affidavit states. The witness then allegedly watched Campbell discard his outer clothing and the backpack, with the possible explosive device, in a trash can just outside CVS.

According to the affidavit, police arrested Campbell at his apartment shortly afterwards and recovered a large portion of the stolen narcotics. He allegedly admitted to police that he robbed the pharmacy.

A suspicious device was discovered by police in a trash can outside the store, forcing Congress Street to be shut down for several hours.

Campbell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the crime.

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