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3 arrested in connection with burglary at Hialeah Walgreens Pharmacy

Police say 2 teens stole pills from pharmacy, gave them to 19-year-old man

HIALEAH, Fla. – Two teenagers and a 19-year-old man were arrested Thursday in connection with a burglary that was reported early that morning at a Walgreens Pharmacy in Hialeah.

Police said they were called to a burglary in progress at the Walgreens at 7605 Hialeah Gardens Blvd. at 4:24 a.m. after the store's alarm company saw two people pry open the front door of the business.

Police said two of the suspects, Jonluis Labadie and Raul Ponce, both 17,  smashed the window of the pharmacy section to get inside the area and then smashed the cabinets to steal Schedule II drugs.

Surveillance video shows the teens snatching the narcotics and running out the front door, police said.

Hialeah police set up a perimeter, searching for the suspects with the help of K-9s and patrol officers.

Detectives were later able to identify the suspects based on fingerprints and blood taken from the scene, an arrest report said.

According to the report, Labadie told detectives that the teens had taken a duffel bag containing the stolen drugs to Emmanuel Gonzalez, 19, after the burglary.

Police said Gonzalez gave written consent for officers to search his bedroom, where they found the bag containing 16 bottles of prescription drugs.

They said Gonzalez and Labadie confessed to their roles in the burglary and implicated Ponce. According to his arrest report, Ponce, who had cuts to his hands, refused to cooperate with detectives in the investigation. 

"This is unfortunately a national crime trend, targeting pharmacies for their Schedule II narcotics and painkillers," Hialeah police spokesman Carl Zogby said.

Gonzalez faces charges of burglary and dealing in stolen property. The other teens face numerous charges, including grand theft and burglary.  Labadie also faces charges of criminal mischief and possession of prescription drugs with in the intent to sell, and Ponce faces an additional charge of trafficking in prescription drugs.


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