BINGHAM — The man who on Monday forced four employees and a customer to the floor and bound their hands during a holdup at a downtown pharmacy was arrested Tuesday, police said.

The man, James Stile, 55, of Sangerville, is accused of wielding a gun when he entered E.W. Moore & Sons Pharmacy, demanding prescription drugs and money, Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi, with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, said in a prepared statement.

Stile allegedly wore a mask, ball cap and sunglasses during the robbery, reported at 5:28 p.m. Monday, before fleeing with cash and medication, Gottardi said. No one was injured.

Police investigated through the night and into Tuesday. They ultimately executed two search warrants and arrested Stile. During their search, they said, they also found more than 150 marijuana plants at Stile’s residence.
Somerset and Piscataquis county sheriff’s offices executed the first warrant shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday at Stile’s home, on Route 23 in Sangerville. The Maine State Police tactical team and an agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted.

Police found articles believed to link Stile to the robbery, Gottardi said. They impounded his green 1996 Ford Winstar van, which had been described as the getaway car.

While on the property, police also discovered marijuana plants, Gottardi said, so police obtained a second search warrant to search the property for illicit drugs. They seized more than 150 marijuana plants, cultivation equipment, an all-terrain vehicle and drug-related paraphernalia.

Police charged Stile with a Class A felony of robbery, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The Somerset County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case, and additional charges may be forthcoming, Gottardi said.

The Piscataquis County District Attorney’s Office will review the case relating to the seized marijuana plants and drug-related items.

Stile is being held at Somerset County Jail in East Madison. To be released on bail, he would need $250,000 in cash or $500,000 single surety.

“It sounds to me like the sheriff’s department has been very tenacious and diligent in developing the evidence in this case,” said Evert Fowle, district attorney for Somerset and Kennebec counties. “I’m glad he’s been brought into custody so quickly.”

“Fortunately this type of robbery is very, very rare in both counties that I serve,” Fowle said. “Obviously this is going to be viewed as a serious matter.”

His office expects to be talking with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in the coming days “to determine the best venue for a case such as this,” he said.

Gottardi did not disclose how much cash or what type of medication was stolen or what type of gun was used during the robbery.

Employees were back at work Tuesday morning. Pharmacy owner Chester Hibbard said he had no comment.
The pharmacy at 337 Main St. was robbed of OxyContin on July 22, 2010. James Wildes, of Madison, and Lawrence Flood, of Skowhegan, pleaded guilty to using a knife in the robbery.

Wildes was sentenced to five years in prison, and Flood received a slightly lesser sentence of four years.
 OxyContin is a narcotic used to relieve pain.

The pharmacy stopped selling the drug after that robbery.

The street outside the pharmacy was quiet Monday night as police remained inside the locked business to interview witnesses.

Gottardi, in addition to Cpl. Ritchie Putnam and Deputy Wilfred Dodge, investigated for the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

“Due to a good close working relationship with all agencies involved, this robbery case was brought to a quick and successful conclusion,” Gottardi said.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368
[email protected]