SPRINGVILLE — Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard announced the arrest of a Concord man, in connection with the robbery of the Spring Creek Pharmacy on Depot Street, which took place in Springville on July 25.
John Pasinski III, 30, was arrested last week, at his home on Middle Road, by detectives Greg McCarthy, Jack Graham and Matt Noecker, following an investigation by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau.
Springville Mayor William Krebs said that he was pleased to hear that the robber had been apprehended.
“This is good news, for Springville,” Krebs said. “It was a very bold robbery, conducted right in broad daylight. It’s not the type of crime you want to see, in any small community, and we certainly didn’t want to see it here.”
Pasinski was charged with robbery in the third degree, a felony, as well as petit larceny for entering the pharmacy wearing a mask, claiming he had a gun and demanding the pharmacist hand over whatever boxes of Fentanyl patches were stored in the pharmacy. The pharmacist complied and gave the subject approximately $328 worth of the patches.
Spring Creek Pharmacy owner Dave Williams said that he thinks this arrest will “make people think twice about it, before they fool around with [narcotic painkillers].”
According to the New York State Department of Health, these types of medications are in high demand. In 2010, one in 20 people older than 11 in the nation used prescription painkillers, for nonmedical reasons. The NYSDH also said there were enough opioid painkillers prescribed in 2010 to medicate every adult in the country, at a rate of once every four hours.
In addition, between 2006 and 2010, crimes against pharmacies rose from 380 – 686, a 79 percent increase, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. The increase in pharmacy robberies in New York state rose from four in 2006 to 30 in 2010.
In addition, the number of individuals arrested by the DEA for diverting controlled prescription drugs in New York state has risen, since 2009. In that year, 59 individuals were arrested for redirecting controlled prescription narcotics, but that number jumped to 169 in 2010, a 286 percent increase. In 2011, 217 persons were arrested for that reason.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate analgesic more potent than morphine. It is a schedule II prescription drug that can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, or used by itself.
Pasinski was arraigned in the village of Springville Court and bail was set at $25,000. He was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center.
“I think it’s great that the community knows that, when something like this occurs, the person doesn’t just get away with it,” Williams said. “The investigation did take a while, but I’d rather have it take a while and have it stick. I’m happy it came to an end.”
McCarthy said that the case is “pretty solid,” but that he would still welcome additional information.
“We have a pretty firm case and we’re very confident that we have the right guy,” McCarthy said. “But we would ask that anyone who has any additional tips or information that they think might be helpful to our investigation, they can certainly give us a call.”
McCarthy can be reached at 667-5224.