‘Oxy Bandits’ Crew Leader Sentenced for Mom-and-Pop Pharmacy Violent Armed-Robbery Spree
LOS ANGELES – An FBI and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigation, with assistance from the Claremont Police Department and the Glendale Police Department, brought down the leader of a mom-and-pop pharmacy armed-robbery spree.
Oxycodone and similar prescription medicine was targeted, as Tyrome Lewis (26) a.k.a. “Boobie,” led a crew that law enforcement coined “Oxy Bandits.” Over a 15-month period, pharmacies were hit in the SoCal cities of Glendale, Bellflower, Paramount, Cerritos, Hawthorne, South Los Angeles, Pico Rivera, Huntington Park, Claremont, Westminster, Fullerton, Anaheim, and Riverside.
The Lynwood man led his crew to follow his modus operandi: target smaller pharmacies, place the stolen prescription drugs into the pharmacy’s trash bags or trash cans, use a black semi-automatic handgun to threaten and intimidate store employees, and force employees to open the medication vault.
Throughout May 2018 to July 2019, “Lewis conspired with others to commit 15 armed robberies. Lewis
selected the pharmacies to be robbed, targeting smaller pharmacies to steal oxycodone and other similar
prescription medication,” said Ciaran McEvoy of the United States Attorney’s Office.
In addition, the Oxy Bandits’ leader “assigned the roles from the crew members, and then served as lookout while co-conspirators committed the robberies,” said McEvoy. “Following the pharmacy robberies, Lewis and others would sell the stolen prescription medication on the black market.”
As Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky and Joseph D. Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Peter Dahlquist of the Riverside Branch
Office prosecuted the case, they emphasized the dastardly aspects of it all: “Over the course of more
than a year…Lewis led a violent spree of armed robberies that terrorized numerous innocent individuals
in order to obtain dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that he and others then sold,” prosecutors wrote in a
“[Lewis’s] conduct subjected numerous innocent civilians (employees, customers, and bystanders), law enforcement (who engaged in at least two high-speed chases with defendant’s crew members), and robbery crew members to profound danger.”
As a result, “Boobie” was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt on September 23, 2021. Back in April, the two-day bench trial had found him guilty on eight felony counts: one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, two counts of interference with commerce by robbery, two counts of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, and two counts of knowingly using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
“Boobie” will be locked away for 20 years.