A Carbon County man who robbed a pharmacy was sentenced to a state prison term Tuesday in the county court.
Jack K. Ensel, 51, of Lansford, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to serve 36 to 72 months in prison on a charge of robbery. He previously pleaded guilty to the count along with one count each of theft and simple assault. Nanovic ruled those two charges merger with the robbery count for sentencing purposes.
Ensel was arrested for an incident at the CVS Pharmacy in Nesquehoning that occurred on Oct. 18, 2008. Ensel entered the pharmacy and stole a tray of powerful prescription painkillers valued at $11,988.
Police arrested Ensel at his home a short time after the robbery. In fact, Lansford police were waiting for him when he returned home with his wife, Tracey Ann Hicks, 44. She drove the getaway vehicle. An employee at the pharmacy managed to get the license plate of the vehicle and turned it over to Nesquehoning police. They immediately notified the communications center who ran the plate number. The registraton came back to Hicks at the Lansford address.
Nesquehoning police then notified Lansford police, who went to the home and took the two into custody when they returned from the robbery.
Hicks denied she knew her husband was robbing the drug store and went on trial. She was found guilty by a jury for her part and is currently serving a state prison term imposed by Nanovic.
Ensel entered the store and went immediately to the rear where the pharmacy was located. He had his hand in is pocket, as if holding a gun, and told the people in the pharmacy to give him oxycontin and no one would get hurt, police office Timothy Wuttke wrote in his report.
Yesterday Ensel told Nanovic that he had become a "born again christian" and has taken part in all prison programs offered for his addiction to drugs, especially heroin.
He told Nanovic, "I'm extremely sorry for any emotional problems I caused them (store employees)."
Nanovic ruled the jail term will be followed by five years of state probation.
Nanovic also ordered Ensel to make restitution of $11,918.50 to CVS for the drugs. Althrough they were recovered they had to be destroyed. Ensel must also supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations and follow any recommendations for treatment, zero tolerance on D&A use, do not enter on the CVS property or have any contact with any of the CVS employees involved in the incident, and pay a $50 per month supervision fee when released on parole.
He was given credit for 958 days spent in jail to date on the charge and was remanded back to the county jail for transfer to the state system.