YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Police Say Drugstore Robbery Foiled

Crime: Three are jailed in New Hampshire, accused of planning a deadly pharmacy heist.

August 21, 2002|From Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Police arrested three men who they said were planning to storm a pharmacy Tuesday, kill everyone inside and steal all the drugs.

Officers said they seized submachine guns, semiautomatic handguns with silencers, bulletproof vests and black clothing with masks from the three on Monday.

"These are highly dangerous and obviously well-armed individuals," Police Chief Brad Russ said at a news conference Tuesday.

He said they were after money and were not known to be drug addicts.

"It was pretty shocking for me to hear about people who had no regard for human life and who were willing to execute someone for profit," he said.

The men were arrested Monday evening at a final planning session that was attended by undercover officers, police said.

The men were identified as Jay Howard, 24; his brother Jeff Howard, 21; and Charles Veillette, 32. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, robbery and theft. Veillette is from Portsmouth, but the other two had no permanent address, police said.

They entered no pleas at their arraignments Tuesday. Bail was set at $1 million each.

Police said Green's Drug Store was chosen because it would allow an easy getaway.

Pharmacist Richard Philbrook said he didn't know his store had been targeted until he talked to a television reporter who was the store's first visitor of the morning.

"I owe my life to the Portsmouth Police Department," said Philbrook, 56. "It's scary. I'm glad they found out about it ahead of time."

Police said Tuesday's plan called for carjacking a random motorist or a courier who delivers prescription drugs to area pharmacies.

Russ said police learned of the alleged plot through a special investigative unit with "tentacles out there."

Los Angeles Times Articles