A New Orleans man was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday (March 14), after he pleaded guilty to robbing a Gretna pharmacy.
Royal Stevens, 40, pleaded guilty as charged to four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, one count for each of the four victims who were in the business at the time he committed the crime.
He was one of two masked gunmen who entered the pharmacy in the 500 block of Lafayette Street about 5:25 p.m., on May 15, 2015. Stevens removed a semiautomatic pistol from his pants waistband, and the other gunman did the same, yelling, “This is a hold-up! Give me all the money and the drugs!”
Stevens and his cohort ordered employees to fill boxes they carried with hydrocodone, oxycodone and other prescription medications. Stevens ordered the employees into a restroom and told them to wait there until they were gone. The gunmen then fled the business.
The Gretna Police Department learned that Stevens had been in the pharmacy the day before, casing it in preparing the robbery. Security images helped detectives identify Stevens as one of the robbers.
Detectives also concluded that Stevens used his silver Ford Mustang to case the pharmacy and to rob it the following day. Detectives also located bags of stolen narcotics at his apartment.
In accepting the guilty plea, Judge June Berry Darensburg of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Stevens to 40 years for each of the four victims and ran the sentences concurrently. Stevens will not receive benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
A second suspect was booked but not charged because of insufficient evidence.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Vanderhooft and Lindsay Truhe prosecuted the case.