Senoia cops seek second suspect in pharmacy heists

Warrants have been issued for a second arrest in connection with the July 2013 burglary and Dec. 23 attempted burglary at the Senoia Drug Company on Ga. Highway 16. A North Carolina man is on the run, but officers serving the warrant found enough prescription pain pills and other medications to fill a small pharmacy.

Rico Ussery, 35, of Juliette was arrested March 3 on charges of burglary and attempted burglary in connection with the burglary and attempted burglary at the pharmacy on Hwy. 16, according to Senoia Police Investigator Jason Ercole.

Arrests warrants for burglary and attempted burglary were also issued for 22-year-old North Carolina resident Denzel Kewon Poole, Ercole said.

Officers from Durham, N. C. subsequently went to Poole’s home to serve the arrest warrants, said Ercole, adding that a friend at Poole’s home let the officers in. While in the house, officers observed a weapon in the home, Ercole said.

Poole being a convicted felon, North Carolina authorities obtained a search warrant and returned to his home. A search of the house revealed approximately 20,000 prescription pain pills and those used for erectile dysfunction, several stolen guns and several thousand dollars in real and counterfeit money, said Ercole.

Ercole said Poole has not returned to his home and is believed to be on the run or in hiding.

Recounting the events that led to the discovery of Ussery and Poole, Ercole said officers in the early morning hours of July 26 responded to an alarm call at the pharmacy. They discovered that someone had cut through an exterior wall to gain entry and had stolen more than 3,400 hydrocodone pills in various strengths, said Ercole.

The store’s video showed an individual wearing a mask, gloves and dark clothing. Evidence was obtained even though the identity of the burglary remained unknown, said Ercole.

Ercole said the case stalled until the early morning hours of Dec. 23 when an officer stopped a vehicle with a non-working tail light in the area of the pharmacy that was driven by Ussery. The officer discovered that Ussery had a suspended license and was wanted in another jurisdiction for failure to appear, Ercole said. Also in Ussery’s possession was Poole’s identification card, Ercole added.
Ussery was arrested for the suspended license and the failure to appear charge.

Meantime, the pharmacy reported what investigators determined to be an attempted burglary on Dec. 23 where someone tried to cut away at the door and pry it open, said Ercole. The attempt at 3:10 a.m. was abandoned prior to the individual successfully entering the building, Ercole said.

Ercole said a break in the case came when the patrol officer told investigators about stopping Ussery at about the same time and in a location near the pharmacy. Following up on information provided by officers, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant for Ussery’s possessions and vehicle, Ercole said.

Investigators during subsequent weeks determined the need for additional search warrants. Based on the execution of those warrants and the additional information obtained, an arrest warrant was issued during the last week of February. The information linked Ussery and Poole to the July 26 burglary and the Dec. 23 attempted burglary, Ercole said.

Ercole said Ussery was arrested March 3 after arriving at the police department to inquire about the citations he received on Dec. 23. Ussery came to the police department before investigators were able to travel to Juliette to arrest him, Ercole said.