One of the suspects in the robbery of Larwood's Pharmacy in East Aurora last October has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Ryan Peltan, 30, formerly of East Aurora, is charged with armed robbery of a pharmacy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
The pharmacy on Oakwood Avenue was robbed just before 9 p.m. on October 24th. The robbers pushed two customers to the floor, at gunpoint. A store employee was forced into the pharmacy's bathroom.
One of the robbers then pulled out a black handgun before climbing over the pharmacy display cases and demanded that the pharmacist turn over the store's narcotic prescription pills.
Police say one of the men was vomiting in the store at the time of the robbery.
"That was their main focus when they got there, they wanted drugs," said East Aurora Police Chief Shane Krieger.
The pair fled the store with a plastic bin containing an unspecified amount any types of prescription pills. A customer's purse was also taken.
Two days later, Peltan was arrested along with a other suspect in Akron, Ohio, after police noticed a suspicious vehicle in a mall parking lot and reportedly found 23 firearms and various pills in their vehicle. Prosecutors say the pills matched those stolen from Larwood's.
"The pills were traced through the DEA," said Krieger.
When the suspects were caught, our sister station WEWS was there. Peltan was arrested alongside 39-year-old Derik Snell of Rittman. These pictures show the guns and pills police recovered:
Investigators say that vomit, and a bandanna left behind in the pharmacy became a key piece of evidence in this case. It was ultimately DNA that linked Peltan to the crime.
"Through my experience, larcenies and burglaries are often connected to drug use," said Chief Krieger.
Investigators say the bigger problem is the growing opioid addiction, and the constant demand for these drugs. That's putting pharmacists on the front lines of this battle.
"We have improved security measures," said Lee Gilham, a Pharmacist at Larwood Pharmacy. "We have new cameras and things in the doors that alert us when people come in. We also have put more people on staff."
If convicted, Peltan could face up to 20 years behind bars.