CLEARFIELD – A Curwensville man will be spending time in state prison for robbing a local drug store at gun point.
Jeff A. Ullery, 41, pleaded guilty before Judge Paul E. Cherry to robbery and possession of a firearm prohibited during sentencing court Friday. He was sentenced to serve five to 10 years in state prison.
The charges stem from an incident at the City Drugs Store in Curwensville on May 30 when Ullery entered the store asking for percocet before he pulled a pistol from his pocket.
One of the pharmacists from the store addressed the court, saying that the fact that “someone from that town could come in and do what he did; it’s hard to believe.”
She went on to explain that the “drug problem in this country is horrible.” She commented that this was a “nightmare for the family” because there was fall-out for everyone who loves him.
She stated that she hoped he is able to recover from the damage drugs have done to his brain and has “an opportunity to make a change.”
Prior to sentencing, Ullery apologized, saying he was “very sorry” and adding an apology to his family.
Cherry commented that he hoped the time in prison will “give you the help you need.”
His attorney, Douglas Campbell, noted that without drugs this robbery would not have happened.
Cherry then responded that this was not the first time Ullery had been charged with robbery (a burglary in 2008) and to blame this crime on drugs is “not a reason. It’s an excuse.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the pharmacist told police that he spotted a man, later identified as Ullery, in an orange raincoat standing at their counter that day.
He asked the man if he could help him and the man responded by mumbling: “I want a bottle of Percocet.” When the pharmacist asked him to repeat his request, he said it again.
The man stepped back and pulled a gun from his front pocket. “No one else has to die today,” he said.
As the pharmacist went to the back of the store to get the drugs, he was able to push a silent alarm and let two other employees know they were being robbed. But, only one of them was able to hear him.
Choosing a bottle with the smallest amount of pills, the pharmacist placed it in a white bag. When he got back to the counter he held the bag out for the robber. He asked him if he wanted to look at it.
The robber stepped back again to show the pistol. The suspect then took the bag and left. As the pharmacist watched him through a window, the man walked instead of running away.
When the pharmacist gave police a description of the man, he said he looked familiar. The gun was a .22 caliber pistol with a wooden handle, he told police.
Police then spoke with a family member at her home. She mentioned that the family was having problems with her son, Jeff Ullery, who was high all weekend.
She said he left the residence with an orange raincoat and stated he wasn’t allowed to have a gun. When she saw the surveillance camera footage, she was able to identify the robber as Jeff Ullery.
Further investigation revealed that the gun used in the crime had been taken from a family member’s bedroom.