Clearfield man sentenced in Philipsburg pharmacy robbery

A Clearfield man was sentenced Friday for robbing a Centre County pharmacy.

Brett Middleton, 34, and another man robbed Grattan’s Pharmacy in Philipsburg in November 2011. The pair used pistols, rounding up employees and threatening their lives, according to court documents.

They escaped with more than $16,000 in narcotics, including Adderall, amphetamine salts, hydromorphine, oxycodone and Oxycontin. They also stole a pistol, and had a getaway driver waiting for them outside.

Police arrested Middleton after his partner, Shawn Demko, committed suicide in a standoff with police. Demko’s cell phone records and text messages led police to Middleton, who pleaded guilty in February to charges of possession with intent to deliver, robbery and firearms not to be carried without a license, all felonies.

Judge Pamela A. Ruest sentenced Middleton to eight to 16 years in prison and more than $16,000 in restitution.

“The potential for loss of innocent life during this heist was colossal. The ‘payoff’ for this crime was hardly worth it and in the end. We are pleased with the sentence for such a serious crime,” said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.