VT: Arrest Made in Armed Robbery of South Burlington Pharmacy

Pharmacy robbery for hydromorphone tablets

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Johny Bixby, 35, of Addison, Vermont, was charged by criminal complaint in United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont, with one count of obstruction of commerce by robbery and one count of using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Bixby, who is currently detained, will make his initial appearance to answer the complaint in federal court on October 7, 2021.  At that hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle will also hear the government’s motion for pretrial detention.

According to court records, on October 4, 2021, Bixby entered the Kinney Drugs on Williston Road in South Burlington, Vermont.  He went to the pharmacy section of the store and, while pointing a handgun at the two employees, demanded that they give him hydromorphone tablets.  After receiving the tablets, Bixby put them in his pocket and fled the store.  The following day, after members of the public identified Bixby as the robber in response to the South Burlington Police Department’s request for assistance, Bixby was arrested in Hinesburg, Vermont.  At the time of his arrest, Bixby was in possession of a handgun.  When questioned by law enforcement, Bixby admitted to robbing the Kinney Drugs and using a gun to do so.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt emphasized that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  As charged, Bixby faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years of imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  If convicted, Bixby’s sentence will be determined by the Court based upon the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines and the application of any mandatory minimum prison terms associated with the count of conviction.

Acting U.S. Attorney Ophardt commended the coordinated and swift investigatory efforts of the South Burlington Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as the crucial assistance of the Hinesburg Police Department, the Colchester Police Department, the Burlington Police Department, and the Vermont State Police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson is handling the prosecution of Bixby.  Bixby will be represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime  For more information, visit https://www.justice.gov/psn

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