VISTA – Alan Buckley, 19, of Carlsbad pleaded not guilty Oct. 27 to charges that he entered several North County pharmacies, said he was armed with a gun and demanded pills.
He also pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempted armed robbery of a man who had just used the ATM at a Chase Bank, at 7600 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, in August.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Marshall Y. Hockett ordered Buckley to be held on $200,000 bail for the latest robbery of a pharmacy inside the Albertson’s store in San Elijo, which took place Oct. 25.
The robberies he is suspected of began in August.
“At all locations he either used a gun, demand note or said he had a gun,” said Laurie Hauf, deputy district attorney.
She said Buckley faces up to nine years in prison if convicted of the felony charges.
Carlsbad detectives obtained evidence at Buckley’s residence that linked him to the robberies. Hauf said that a cigarette butt found outside one of the locations he is suspected of robbing might match his DNA.
Buckley’s attorney opposed the request by Hauf for a DNA sample, but Judge Hockett signed an order for Buckley to submit to the test.
A co-defendant in the Oct. 25 San Elijo pharmacy robbery, Hesam Asl-Rosta, was charged on Oct. 27 with being the driver of the car Buckley fled in, and held on a $100,000 bail and immigration hold.
Buckley’s main demand during the drug store robberies was for the highly addictive OxyContin, according to police, but he also demanded Xanax – a drug to treat anxiety and panic attacks — and Codeine cough medicine on the Oct. 25 robbery.
Buckley was suspected of robbing the pharmacy inside of Albertson’s Oct. 12. According to the Carlsbad Police Department, the defendant walked up to the pharmacy counter wearing a hoodie, and handed the pharmacy worker a note that said he had a gun and demanded OxyContin.
The clerk complied, out of fear, police said, and the suspect fled with several bottles.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the resale of the addictive opiate pill OxyContin is lucrative on the black market.
The popular pill is worth $1 a milligram on the street, which calculates to $80 for each 80 mg pill, according to the NIDA.
Buckley is also a suspect in the Aug. 31 robbery of a Rite Aid at 7100 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad. He was reported by witnesses as wearing a ski mask, claiming to be armed with a gun, and robbing the pharmacy of medicine.
Sheriff’s deputies from the Vista station report that on September 30, 2011, an unknown male suspect was caught on video entering a pharmacy at 1031 E. Vista Way, after he created a hole in the roof.