U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon federal charges against a defendant alleged to have engaged in a string of Evansville-area robberies earlier this year. David J. Nalley, age 39, of Evansville, has been indicted for these alleged acts, which include the robbery of a pharmacy in a busy residential area. This prosecution comes as the U.S. Attorney's Office has announced a new initiative to combat criminal activity targeting pharmacies.
"Indiana had more pharmacy robberies than any other state in 2012, and we have seen a troubling increase in these crimes over the last few years," Hogsett said. "Working with our federal and local partners, the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to reversing this trend."
According to the charging document, Nalley entered a convenience store on South Weinbach Avenue on March 21, 2013, robbing the store through the use of threatened violence. The next day, Nalley allegedly robbed a pharmacy located on Covert Avenue, wielding a knife and threatening employees of the store with violence if they did not comply with his requests. Nalley was arrested shortly after this second alleged act.
Hogsett noted that Indiana has seen a marked increase in the number of criminal acts targeting pharmacies and pharmacy workers. In 2012, Indiana led the country in terms of the number of pharmacy robberies committed, continuing a multi-year upward trend. Hogsett said there were many reasons to explain the numbers, including the increased prevalence of substance-abuse problems related to prescription drugs.
In response, Hogsett said that the U.S. Attorney's Office has joined with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as local law enforcement agencies, to develop new investigative techniques aimed at preventing such crimes. Hogsett also said the U.S. Attorney's Office has begun prioritizing the federal prosecution of those who commit armed commercial robberies.
"We intend to not only investigate and convict more armed commercial robberies than ever before, but we also will send a powerful message that if you engage in this behavior, you will face federal prosecution and federal prison," Hogsett added.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Nalley could face up to 20 years in federal prison if he is found guilty. This case was the result of a collaborative investigation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Safe Streets Task Force and the Evansville Police Department.
An indictment or information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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