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Man charged in Safeway robbery back in court Thursday

Man charged in Safeway robbery back in court Thursday

The man charged with the February, 2016 robbery of the Scottsbluff Safeway pharmacy was back in court Thursday morning for his preliminary hearing.

27-year-old Eric Leach is charged with robbery and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Police believe he is the man who hopped the counter at the pharmacy and demanded fentanyl and ADHD pills from the safe.

The suspect was seen wearing a hoodie, sunglasses, a surgical mask, and blue surgical gloves at the time of the robbery.

During today’s preliminary hearing, Investigator Rob Kiesel with the Scottsbluff Police Department testified about his involvement with the case. He says he was contacted by a detective from the Casper Police Department, and that Leach’s sister told them that she stated that Eric had robbed the Safeway Pharmacy.

Kiesel said that the sister had also gotten ADHD pills from Eric, and Eric’s wife had found cut up fentanyl patches in the home.

He also said that police did recover blue surgical gloves from the YMCA parking lot dumpsters the night of the robbery; however DNA testing did not provide a match connecting the gloves to Leach.

During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, Investigator Koss from the Converse County Sheriff’s Department was scheduled to testify about the case as well. However due to lengthy testimony and questioning from the attorney’s, the hearing was continued until Friday afternoon.

Leach is free after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bond, and he is scheduled to be back in court on Friday for the remainder of the preliminary hearing.

If County Judge James Worden finds probable cause that the crimes were committed, Leach’s case would be bound over to Scotts Bluff County District Court.

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