Lodi man pleads guilty to armed pharmacy robberies

Lodi man pleads guilty to armed pharmacy robberies

A Lodi man pleaded guilty on Thursday to committing two armed robberies of pharmacies, according to federal court officials.

At the plea hearing, Anthony Carriola, 28, admitted that he robbed the Mount Vernon Pharmacy in Mount Vernon, Ind., on Dec. 2, 2011, officials said.

Carriola entered the pharmacy wearing a mask with a swastika on it and he displayed a small handgun, according to court records. Carriola said he jumped the counter and told the employees, “Don’t make me shoot you.”

Carriola also admitted robbing the Eannelli Pharmacy, Prairie du Sac, on
Jan. 10. Carriola wore a mask and jumped the counter. He displayed a .44
Magnum revolver and told the pharmacy employees to get on the ground, officials said.

Carriola then went to an aisle where the licensed pharmacist was walking and pointed a handgun at the pharmacist’s face. The pharmacist grabbed the gun and wrestled with Carriola, who was demanding 100 milligram morphine pills.

An employee retrieved two bottles of morphine pills from the safe and subsequently gave them to Carriola.

Pharmacy customers in a vehicle at the drive-through window witnessed what was occurring in the pharmacy and they called 911, officials said.

Carriola was spotted leaving in a Ford Focus, which was registered to his mother in Lodi.

Officers subsequently searched the car and found a .44 caliber Sturm Ruger revolver underneath the front passenger seat and one blue morphine tablet was also found on a floorboard of the car, authorities said.

Carriola was arrested at a local hotel on Jan. 12. Law enforcement officers verified the room Carriola was staying in and obtained a warrant to search the room. Among other things, blue morphine pills from the robbery were recovered, authorities said.

Sentencing has been scheduled on July 23 at 1 p.m. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the robberies.