An armed man who robbed a Gainesville pharmacy and held two people hostage last year has now been sentenced.
Anthony Lavell Williams, Jr. 28 years old of Rome, GA, has been sentenced for a string of armed robberies that took place over five counties and specifically targeted pharmacies as means of obtaining cash, as well as drugs.
On July 7, 2020, Williams targeted the Gainesville Walgreens on South Enota Dr. He grabbed a customer at the front register by the hair and forced both the customer and the cashier at gunpoint to go with him to the back of the store. Williams demanded “painkillers” and forced them to unlock safes and load a backpack with drugs. Williams stole $1,820 in cash and approximately $30,0000 of narcotics.
Between May and July of 2020, similar crimes were committed by Williams in Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, and Cobb counties, as well. In a press release issued about the sentencing, the Department of Justice says, overall, Williams managed to steal a total of around $9,600 in cash and more than $183,000 of controlled substances. “The pharmacies’ losses were eclipsed by the street value of the stolen drugs, which included but was not limited to nearly 44,000 doses of opioids and more than 5,700 tablets containing amphetamine.”
Williams was sentenced to 12 years, 7 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $192,983.77.
In August, Williams pled guilty to all five of his armed robbery charges.
The Gainesville Police Department was involved in the investigation against Williams, along with the GBI and various other departments.
“This sentence is a direct result of what good multi-jurisdictional partnerships and communication can accomplish,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We are grateful for all the hard work by our partners that allowed Williams to be removed from the streets before he could commit any worse crimes or traumatize any more innocent citizens.”