CASPER, Wyo. — The first of three Stockton, California, residents jailed in Natrona County for the alleged theft of thousands of prescription pills from the east-side Walgreens last May has pleaded guilty in District Court.
Curtis Jason Green, 20, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to acting as the getaway driver in the May 26 robbery. The suspected point man, Charles Michael Jemison, was said by witnesses to have held his hand in the pocket of his hoodie, simulating a handgun, according to the police report.
State law says that intentionally putting someone in fear of bodily injury supports an aggravated charge. All three have been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and possession of the stolen drugs with intent to distribute. Investigators believe the trio planned to sell the drugs back in California.
In exchange for Green’s plea to those two charges, the state has agreed to cap its sentencing argument at five to nine years, though opposing counsel may argue for a suspended sentence.
Jemison and the third co-defendant, Joshua Israel Slaughter, are both scheduled for change-of-plea hearings. Jemison is also charged with kidnapping for the alleged confinement of Walgreen’s staff during the robbery.
Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson told Judge Kerri Johnson that those two co-defendants are being actively investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and authorities in the states of Oregon and Utah.
All three remain incarcerated, with the three district court judges presiding over separate arraignments electing not to grant any further requests for bond reductions. All three have virtually no criminal history, as counsel noted at their respective arraignments.
“He understands that he messed up,” Green’s attorney, Steven Iberlin, told Judge Johnson when asking for a reduction in bond, which was denied.
According to the Casper Police Department investigator’s affidavit, the trio said they’d seen an Instagram video which outlined how to rob a pharmacy with a gun and “get the narcotics.”
Police responded to the reported robbery at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, May 26. The suspect vehicle was seen in the area, which led to a chase onto Interstate 25 that terminated in Converse County.
Police say the trio made off with 15 bottles of prescription pills from the pharmacy safe, which included:
- 2,137 Hydrocodone pills
- 477 Hydromorphone pills
- 741 Oxycodone pills
- 244 Methadone pills
In subsequent interviews, police learned the suspects had gone to high school together. Jemison has five children, and Slaughter is expecting.
Judge Catherine Wilking kept co-defendant Jemison’s bond at $150,000 cash or surety after his arraignment in August. Judge Josh Eames also elected to keep Slaughter’s bond at $75,000, where it had been set during the preliminary hearing.
It is unclear from the report exactly how the suspects chose Casper, Wyoming. One suspect said he’d never heard of Wyoming before the 15-hour road trip from Stockton.
Police say the trio was also seen on security footage at the west-side Walgreens shortly before the east side. Police believe they were setting up to rob the store. One suspect reportedly later told police “that he did not have ‘the vibes’” at that location.