PORTLAND — A Windham man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to robbing a Hannaford pharmacy of drugs in March by threatening employees with a knife tucked into his waistband.

Derek Jackson, 27, was turned in by family members soon after he robbed the Hannaford store on Roosevelt Trail in Windham on March 23 and briefly escaped by car with a bag of hydromorphone pills, a narcotic painkiller, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

One of Jackson’s relatives told police within minutes after the robbery that Jackson had called on the phone, saying, “The cops are behind me.”

Moments after that call, a second family member called a police dispatcher, expressing concern about Jackson.

Jackson was heard in the background of that call, speaking from a different phone, yelling, “I robbed a … pharmacy” and “I’m gonna take all these pills and die in peace,” FBI agent Thomas MacDonald said in an affidavit seeking a charge against Jackson.

When police arrived at Jackson’s home, family members were there and found Jackson inside in an “apparent overdose state.” He was taken away by ambulance, according to the report.

Jackson pleaded guilty before Judge George Singal to a single count of interference with commerce by robbery.

He faces as much as 30 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

s[email protected]m

Twitter: @scottddolan

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