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Britton: Second Plea in pharmacy burglaries

Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

 

CORBIN NEWS JOURNAL – A second defendant facing federal charges of conspiracy to break into numerous pharmacies throughout Kentucky and Tennessee has filed a motion for rearraignement.

Kenneth Britton

According to a court order entered Tuesday, 39-year-old Kenneth Britton of Whitwell, Tennessee, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in London for a rearraignment hearing at 1 p.m. on March 9.

Britton and seven co-defendants: Robert Nunley, James Ronald Jones, Randy Stiefel, Jamie Sweeton, Christopher Land, Tony Britton, and Anthony Bosio were indicted in 2016 in connection with the burglaries, including the ones that occurred at Stephanie’s Down Home Pharmacy on Jan. 26, 2014 and Sav-Rite Pharmacy on March 15, 2015.

Both burglaries were caught on surveillance video.

Two masked individuals pulled up to Sav-Rite Pharmacy on Master Street in a black Range Rover SUV.

After circling the parking lot, the vehicle pulled crossways in the parking lot just feet from the door.

One of the burglars, who is described as a white male about 6 feet tall and weighing over 300 pounds, is seen jumping out of the driver’s seat, going up to the front door and using a crowbar to pry it open.

The other man, who is described as a white male, approximately 5’8”, who had been waiting with the back seat door open, is seen jumping out with a blue tote and entering the store while the driver remained outside.

Video from inside the store shows the other man busting open a locked cabinet containing narcotics and cleaning it out into the tote.

At the time, Corbin Police Chief Rusty Hedrick, who was then a detective investigating the incident, said there had been three similar burglaries within two months of the Save-Rite burglary.

Video surveillance from the burglary at Stephanie’s Pharmacy on Master Street on Jan. 26, 2014 shows a white Chrysler 300 sedan parked in front of the store as the masked men enter the store and sweep the shelves of drugs.

“They popped the lock on the front door of the store to get in and are in and out in less than three minutes,” said then Knox County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Derek Eubanks who added that two men are seen grabbing the drugs while a third remains outside as a lookout.

The burglars swept the drugs into large storage tubs, ignoring the cash register.

Hedrick said agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who had developed a case connecting Nunley to the Sav-Rite burglary, contacted him in mid 2016.

“Pill bottles taken during the burglary at Stephanie’s had been found at Nunley’s home when the DEA searched it,” Hedrick said.

At the time the initial indictment was returned in August, Nunley was incarcerated in the Lincoln County, Tennessee jail on charges stemming from a 2012 burglary at a pharmacy in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

“They went in and popped the lock and left with quite a few pills, Shelbyville Police Lt. Brian Crews told The Grundy County Herald newspaper in at the time of the burglary.

Crews said law enforcement believes Nunley is part of a group responsible for a number of pharmacy burglaries throughout the Southeast.

The Grundy County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Shelbyville, Tennessee Police Department took Bosio, Land, Sweeton, Britton and Stiefel into custody on arrest warrants stemming from the indictment.

Bosio pleaded guilty in February to his part in the burglaries, admitting to selling some of the stolen pills.

“The defendant obtained pills containing controlled substances from his co-conspirators, knowing that his co-conspirators had stolen those pills from various pharmacies through the southeastern United States, including in the Eastern District of Kentucky. The defendant sold those stolen pills and shared the proceeds of such sales with his co-conspirators,” Bosio’s plea agreement states.

The remaining defendants are scheduled to go to trial on March 19.

The above information was provided to the Herald by Dean Manning at the Corbin News Journal.