Memphis, TN – Several individuals have been convicted for conspiracy to burglarize pharmacies. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the convictions today.
According to information presented in court, from February 3, 2017 to December 6, 2018, in the Western District of Tennessee, Northern District of Mississippi, Middle District of Tennessee, Southern District of Ohio, and elsewhere, a roving band of burglars in various combinations burglarized over 90 businesses and pharmacies.
In most instances, the suspects would wear masks or an article of clothing to conceal their face, and gloves so as not to leave prints. Entry was typically gained utilizing a crow bar to pry open the door. Once entry was made, two to three suspects would enter the business, taking various types of controlled substances for purposes of redistribution. During these burglaries, several variations of vehicles were being utilized, many of which had temporary operation plates, “dealer drive-out” tags, no tags at all, or were found to be stolen vehicles.
• On May 16, 2019, defendants Nicholas Wright, 28, Tony Bowen, 26, Brandon Clay, 24, Marquis Presley, 29, Bryan Presley, 30, and Anwar Gates, 42, were indicted for conspiracy to burglarize a number of pharmacies in the Western District of Tennessee and elsewhere in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2118(d). In addition, Bowen, Presley, and Clay were indicted for the burglary of the Walgreens located at 1424 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN on October 19, 2017.
• Wright and Bowen were also indicted for the burglary of the Walgreens located at 4890 N. Highland Street, Columbus, OH., during which a federal agent was assaulted. Bowen was also indicted for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
• Bryan Pressley was also indicted for burglary of the Homewood Drug Company located at 2280 North Washington Avenue, Brownsville, TN. On December 6, 2018, Pressley assaulted a Brownsville Police Officer.
All of the defendants have since pleaded guilty, and have been sentenced as follows by United States District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla:
• Bowen was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $191,656.87.
• Brian Presley was sentenced to 102 months imprisonment followed by 5 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $24,905.86.
• Marquis Presley was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment followed by 2 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $53,994.63.
• Gates was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment followed by 2 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $15,107.26.
• Clay was sentenced to 42 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $14,002.89.
On October 16, 2020, Wright pled guilty and is scheduled for sentencing on January 22, 2021 before United States District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “Pharmacy burglaries and theft of controlled substances not only harm the business owner, but also present the dangerous risk of hundreds of prescription opioids being unlawfully distributed into the community, causing further potential addiction, injury, and death. As demonstrated in this case, we will not tolerate this lawlessness by organized criminal enterprises, and will use all available resources to punish and remove dangerous offenders from our communities for a very long time.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigated this case.
Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Kimbril-Parks and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Griffith are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.