COUPLE SENTENCED FOR ROBBERIES OF PHARMACIES

A Superior Court Judge sentenced a Galloway Township married couple to eight years in prison for three separate second-degree robberies of local pharmacies in which the couple would go into local pharmacies, demand and receive hundreds of Oxycodone pills in 2009 and 2010, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel stated.

In accordance with the plea agreements, Russell DeMark, 32, and his wife Nicole DeMark, 30, of the 600 block of East Lakefront Circle, must serve 85 percent of the prison term before being eligible for parole, or six years, nine months and 24 days, according to Assistant Prosecutor Bergman who represented the prosecution.

Over the course of six months the DeMarks, who had no prior criminal record, entered CVS drug stores including one in Egg Harbor Township, the same CVS in Galloway Township twice and the same CVS in Absecon twice, and a Rite Aid in Absecon, between the dates of Oct. 27, 2009 and April 10, 2010. Russell DeMark would go up to the counter and threaten violence if his demands were not met. Nicole DeMark would hand the pharmacist a note threatening violence if the pharmacist did not give her the Oxycodone pills.

Authorities arrested the DeMarks on April 10, 2010, after the final robbery during which Russell DeMark entered a CVS in the Smithville section of Galloway Township and demanded the drugs, and a Good Samaritan followed him out of the store, watched him enter a vehicle driven by his wife, followed the couple out to their residence and called police. The defendants were indicted in August.

Prior to being sentenced, Russell DeMark asked Superior Court Judge Michael A. Donio for leniency. Judge Donio stated that while the sentence may seem harsh, there were several robberies that could have run consecutively resulting in a lengthier prison term and the State took that into consideration when fashioning the plea agreements.

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