Pharmacy burglar sentenced to 20 years

ELIZABETHTOWN - A former Moriah man is going to state prison for 20 years.

Joseph J. Budwick, 36, of Elizabethtown appeared in Essex County Court Dec. 2 and was sentenced by Judge Richard Meyer to serve 20 years for felony first-degree robbery of the Hometown Pharmacy in Mineville on April 5.

Budwick was sentenced to another two to four years for felony third-degree attempted burglary for breaking into the Willsboro Pharmacy on March 3.

The sentences are to be served concurrently. When Budwick gets out, he must serve five years of post-release supervision.

He must also pay more than $12,000 in restitution.

At Willsboro, Budwick took more than 3,000 narcotic pills and tablets and 25 narcotic Fentanyl patches. The potential street value of the drugs exceeded $6,000.

He took bottles of codeine tablets and other narcotics at Hometown Pharmacy, attempting to swallow them even as neighbors tackled and subdued him after he ran out.

Meyer ordered Budwick to pay $7,900 in restitution to Willsboro Pharmacy and $4,000 to Hometown Pharmacy. He was also assessed surcharges and fees and must submit a DNA sample for the state database.

Essex County District Attorney Julie Garcia said Budwick was sentenced as a second-felony offender, which resulted in a harsher sentence.

Budwick's sister, Tammy A. Grey, 40, of Witherbee, who allegedly drove him to Hometown Pharmacy, had been charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal facilitation but accepted a plea offer from the District Attorney's Office.

Grey recently appeared in Moriah Town Justice Court and received an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. If she stays out of trouble for six months, the charge will be dismissed.

Grey denied that she knew her brother planned to hold up the drugstore.

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