A Milwaukee man has been charged in a federal indictment in the armed robbery of the in Wauwatosa as well as robberies of two more pharmacies in Milwaukee.
Daniel Lee, 49, faces seven federal felony counts in the three robberies and a mandatory prison term of 47 years if convicted on all of them.
In the Wauwatosa robbery, the robber, now alleged to be Lee, demanded all the Oxycodone in the pharmacy stores and implied that he had a gun.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, the indictment charges Lee with robbing the Swan store in Tosa on March 15, the Aurora Pharmacy at 8428 W. Silver Spring Dr. in Milwaukee on March 17, and the Wilkes Village Pharmacy at 9000 W. Burleigh St. in Milwaukee on March 31.
The robberies were and are being investigated by the , the FBI, the Milwaukee Police Department and the Shorewood Police Department. Lee was .
Besides three robbery charges, the indictment alleges that Lee used a firearm during two of them. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of seven years and up to life in prison if convicted of one of those firearm counts.
Lee faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted of a second count of using a firearm during a robbery.
Because Lee has at least three prior convictions for a crime of violence, he faces a minimum term of 15 years and up to life in prison if convicted of a separate charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Finally, Lee is charged with possessing prescription Oxycodone and morphine with intent to distribute. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of this drug trafficking offense.
Details of the Wauwatosa robbery
According to Wauwatosa police reports, at 12:40 p.m. March 15, the Swan pharmacy, 9130 W. North Ave., was robbed by a man who claimed to have a gun and demanded that a clerk fill a bag with Oxycodone. He did not ask for any cash or show a weapon.
There were two customers, the store’s owner and pharmacist, and four other pharmacy technicians in the store.
Several members of the pharmacy staff noticed the man when he entered because he was wearing a surgical mask.
But unlike most places, that did not cause immediate alarm. People with respiratory ailments are frequent drug counter customers, they said, and many of them wear hospital masks all the time.
Video showed the man waiting about 10 feet behind a customer at the counter and holding a duffel bag.
When he stepped forward, he first said, “I’m picking up for Williams.” According to the clerk, there was a call-in prescription ready for a regular customer named Williams, so she thought nothing of that.
But then the man handed her a note that read “This is a robbery. Put all Oxycodone in bag. 30, 15, 10, 5. I have a gun.” He held a hand inside the bag, implying that he was holding a weapon on her.
Another technician noticed that her colleague looked "frazzled" and was nervously filling a store bag with numerous prescriptions – but it still didn't dawn on her what was happening.
The store owner even tried "being funny" with the man when he saw he was wearing a mask, thinking he was trying some sort of prescription scam, and raised his hands in mock surrender.
Then he, too, noticed the number of drugs his assistant was bagging and realized a real robbery was taking place.
The robber immediately confronted the owner and demanded the telephone receiver off the counter, which he put in his bag along with the drugs.
Wauwatosa police were called immediately after the suspect left, and they were close by. Officers found the clerk who had been victimized standing outside the front door in tears. But the robber was gone.
The demand note was found about 60 feet east down the alley behind the store – and that was the suspect's undoing, and the reason police kept the report from the public.
Evidence recovered from the note was sent to the State Crime Lab and came back with a positive ID – leading them to Daniel Lee.