Claremont Man Who Robbed Pharmacy of Hundreds of Pills at Knifepoint Is Sentenced

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Newport — A 42-year-old Claremont man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to theft and criminal threatening with a deadly weapon in connection with an armed robbery at Sugar River Pharmacy in Claremont last fall.

Brian Mahoney was sentenced to a total of two years in the House of Corrections, with the opportunity to engage in treatment programming inside the Sullivan County jail during his second year of incarceration. He then will remain on probation for five years.

Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said Mahoney entered the pharmacy, which was previously known as Bannon Pharmacy, on Nov. 30 and demanded pills while brandishing a 12-inch knife. No one was injured.

Mahoney, who frequented the pharmacy lawfully many times before, took off with 100 pills each of Oxycodone, an opiate, and Alprazolam, an anxiety medication, Hathaway said.

Through his attorney, Jay Buckey, Mahoney expressed remorse for his actions.

“He feels extremely remorseful about what he did,” Buckey told Sullivan Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker before Mahoney was sentenced. “He didn’t mean to cause (the staff) any distress.”

Mahoney suffers from mental health issues and had been off his medication at the time, Buckey said. That, combined with an addiction problem, led to his actions that day, he said.

Nevertheless, Hathaway said the case warranted jail time.

He called Mahoney’s conduct “exceedingly dangerous behavior.”

The agreed-upon sentence struck a balance between punishment and rehabilitation for Mahoney, Hathaway said.

The pharmacy staff that day, which included pharmacy manager Carl Bannon, told prosecutors that they hoped for a strong sanction.

Mahoney has no prior criminal record.

Tucker accepted the plea agreement, which called for two consecutive 12-month sentences in the county jail with the possibility for Mahoney to engage in treatment through the Sullivan County TRAILS program, or Transitional Reentry and Inmate Life Skills program.

Mahoney ultimately pleaded guilty to felony criminal threatening and misdemeanor theft. The state dismissed a felony robbery charge.

“I’m glad you accepted responsibility early on,” Tucker told Mahoney during the hearing.

The robbery unfolded around 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 30 when Mahoney entered the pharmacy, brandished a knife and left with prescription drugs.

Several leads led police to Mahoney as the possible perpetrator. Police ultimately executed a search warrant at his residence and Mahoney told police he was responsible, Hathaway said in court.

The robbery forced area schools to enter into a “shelter in place,” although police said there was never any threat to the schools.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.


Carl Bannon is the pharmacy manager of the Sugar River Pharmacy in Claremont. The store, previously known as Bannon Pharmacy, is now owned by Thomas Wilmot and Chad Beane. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Bannon’s role at the pharmacy.