ST. GEORGE – A LaVerkin man pleaded guilty in 5th District Court Monday to aggravated robbery of a pharmacy in Hurricane on two separate occasions.
Jonathan Shon Forest, 37, appeared in court with attorney Ryan Stout, and pleaded guilty to the aggravated robberies of the Hurricane Family Pharmacy committed in March 2014 and again in March of this year.
For the most recent robbery, Forest pleaded guilty to three third-degree felonies that included charges of aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance. Forest originally faced a total of 12 charges that included additional drug possession charges, as well as aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. The nine other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.
For the March 2014 robbery, Forest pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated robbery and three third-degree felony charges that included aggravated assault and drug possession.
According to the Utah Courts website, a first degree-felony charge can carry a minimum of five years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines, while third-degree felonies carry a zero-to-five year prison term and up to a $5,000 fine.
Part of the plea agreement between the Washington County Attorney’s Office and the defense was the recommendation that time served for each offense be concurrent, Deputy Washington County Attorney Laina Arras told the court.
Judge Eric Ludlow accepted the pleas and scheduled Forest’s sentencing for Sept. 3.
Forest was arrested March 11 following the armed robbery of the Hurricane Family Pharmacy at 25 N. 2000 West in Hurricane. During the incident, Forest entered the pharmacy and pulled out a gun – later determined to be an airsoft gun – and preceded to demand prescription narcotics. Pharmacy employees complied and Forest left with the drugs.
Police were called and pharmacy employees were able to give officers a description of Forest and the Chevrolet Tahoe he drove away in. Officers found the Tahoe soon after thanks to a witness who followed it and gave police it’s location.
“Those involved in this incident did a great job to ensure their safety and provided detailed information,” Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said following Forest’s arrest. “Based on that information, officers were able to locate the suspect within six minutes of the incident.”
“They served a search warrant and collected prescription bottles,” Buell said in a press release, “along with clothing and items that were consistent with the first robbery.”
At the time of the 2014 robbery, a $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
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