Texas man sentenced for string of Nebraska pharmacy burglaries
OMAHA, Neb. -- A 30-year-old Texas man was sentenced on Wednesday to more than five years in prison for a string of pharmacy burglaries that happened in Nebraska in 2021.
The U.S. Attorney announced that 30-year-old Christopher Benjamin Blanton of Fort Worth, Texas, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Omaha for his involvement in a string of pharmacy burglaries that happened in Nebraska.
The U.S. District Judge sentenced Blanton to 63 months in prison.
After his release from prison, Blanton will begin a three-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Blanton was also ordered to pay $24,917 in restitution.
According to court documents, from February 10, 2021 to February 12, 2021, seven Nebraska pharmacies, located in Springfield, Fremont, and Omaha, were burglarized.
In response, a DEA-led task force was formed, which included the Omaha Police Department and the Nebraska State Patrol.
Court-authorized warrants were obtained for cell tower data in the area of the burglaries, that when compared, established that specific cell phones were present at the different burglaries.
It was determined from the data that the cell phones were traveling between Texas and Nebraska via Interstate 35.
With cooperation from law enforcement agencies in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa, it was determined that two individuals involved in the pharmacy burglaries were Blanton and Christopher Williams.
Williams is scheduled to enter a plea of guilty on May 24, 2023.
“DEA takes the theft and diversion of pharmaceutical drugs seriously, as many prescription medications are highly addictive,” said Justin C. King, DEA Omaha Division special agent in charge. “This defendant was likely driven by the money he would get selling these drugs on the black market, but the cost to public health and safety is intolerable. By his thoughtless, criminal actions, he not only harms the individuals he’s selling to, but also the people who need those medications for legitimate medical reasons. DEA is dedicated to investigating these cases and ensuring access to prescriptions for those who need them.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Omaha Police Department, and the Nebraska State Patrol.