East TN News
East TN News

Pharmacy Thieves Stopped and Shut Down

By John M Disque



There has been an incredible rise in pharmacy robberies in East Tennessee over the past year. Since it began concerned residents, along with the pharmacies, have urged continuous, serious action to stop the mayhem while the violence and the number of robberies did nothing but increase. 

Eventually the Knoxville FBI was called in to assist local authorities. The FBI put their "Safe Streets Task Force" on the job and worked diligently with "The Knoxville Police Department's Repeat Offender Squad." – The result speaks for itself. 

Daniel D. Gibson, 23, Donald G. Hopson Jr., 56, Morton Dean Moore, 43 and Dewyatt A. Hill, 54 were indicted by a Knoxville Grand Jury and charged with 13 counts. 

It turns out that these robberies were not a simple matter of a drug-addict needing their fix. The robberies were an organized conspiracy with selected targets providing the necessary ingredients for an illegal drug business operation. 

It appears that Moore was the head of the operation and planned each robbery. He also provided the necessary firearms and sold the substances from his Po Boys Used Tires business on Chapman Highway. 

If convicted, Gibson and Moore face no less than 107 years in prison. Hill faces no less than 57 years, and Hopson faces no less than 32 years. 

Two of the robberies were particularly violent with guns actually being fired inside the store. During a robbery in Bearden, a pharmacy employee was grabbed by the hair, her head slammed into the safe, her life threatened, and the gun pointed directly at her head. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Norris and Zack Bolitho will represent the United States in all cases and remind the residents of East TN that the indictment constitutes only the charges and that everyone involved is presumed innocent until proven guilty in federal court.

Published in Knoxville Daily Sun February 2, 2011

Published in East TN News October 11, 2011

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