Tonawanda News

January 19, 2013

Man jailed in drug heist

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara on Thursday sentenced a North Tonawanda man to 70 months in prison for burglarizing a pharmacy almost two years ago.

A statement from U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul’s office said Timothy J. Lichtenburger, 30, broke into the Rite Aid pharmacy at 1381 Nash Road in North Tonawanda on two separate occasions in May of 2011. 

A North Tonawanda police investigation determined Lichtenburger broke through a barred window, then entered the building, where he pried open locked pharmacy cabinets to get to

various narcotics.

He stole more than $26,000 worth of controlled drugs, and then distributed the narcotic prescription pills.

Lichtenburger was then arrested during a traffic stop, and officers found 4,500 pills and Fentanyl patches. North Tonawanda Police Capt. William Hall said the items traced to the Rite Aid store. Only about half of the $26,000 in narcotics were recovered.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in July. Lichtenburger was also ordered to pay restitution to Rite Aid in the amount of $27,917.37.

He had faced a statutory maximum sentence of 150 years in prison. 

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the North Tonawanda Police Department Detective Bureau, under the direction of Police Chief Randy Szukala, and Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division.

Lichtenburger did have a criminal history prior to the incident, and has pleaded guilty to petit larceny, third-degree menacing, and DWI charges. 

CORRECTION APPENDED: An earlier version of this story misstated the location of the Rite Aid that was burglarized. It is in North Tonawanda.