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VIENNA Officials: 2 admit robbery



Published: Thu, May 3, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The two men were scheduled to appear in Girard Municipal Court today.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

VIENNA -- Two 19-year-olds who admit to having an addiction to the prescription painkiller OxyContin have confessed robbing Vienna Pharmacy earlier this week, sheriff's department officials said.

Sheriff Thomas Altiere said the two men were arrested Wednesday on charges of armed robbery. They were held in the Trumbull County jail overnight and are expected to be arraigned today in Girard Municipal Court.

Altiere said the one man lives in Vienna and the other in Brookfield.

Trumbull County Drug Task Force officials said the two confessed shortly after police began talking to them about the robbery.

The men told officials they stole the drug because they didn't have the money to buy it and they were suffering withdrawal symptoms. Officials said they recovered "a large amount" of OxyContin from the home of one suspect.

Altiere said the department received a tip Wednesday that led them to the home.

'Cooperative': "They were both cooperative," Altiere said. "It appears that they were addicted to the drug. They stole the drug so they could use it. We don't believe they were selling it."

Police said one of the men wearing a ski mask entered the drug store, on state Route 193 near Vienna Center, around 10:15 a.m. Monday. The man pointed a gun at a female employee and demanded OxyContin. The man told employees that he did not want money -- only the drug.

After receiving an unspecified amount of the drug, the man fled. Police said the other suspect was waiting outside in a car.

Vienna Pharmacy officials said the store will no longer carry OxyContin. OxyContin, often prescribed for cancer patients, has become a popular street drug. Task force officials said the drug is "highly addictive" and noted that there are "many people" in Trumbull County illegally selling it.




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