SHERBORN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Sherborn Chief of Police Thomas Galvin have announced that Michael Viola, 54, of Revere was found guilty in connection with the masked armed robbery of a Walgreens Pharmacy in Sherborn on September 15, 2018.
A Middlesex Superior Court jury found Viola guilty of four counts of armed masked robbery, one count of conspiracy to commit a masked robbery, stealing by confining or putting a person in fear, one count of trafficking in oxycodone, a derivative of opium, over 200 grams; one count of trafficking over 200 grams of morphine, one count of trafficking in methadone, a derivative of opium, over 36 grams; one count of trafficking in hydromorphone, a derivative of opium, over 18 grams; possession with intent to distribute Fentanyl, a class A substance, possession with intent to distribute methylphenidate, a class B substance; and conspiracy to traffic in over 200 grams of a derivative of opium.
On May 9, 2022, Judge Janice Howe sentenced Viola to a total of 46-52 years in state prison.
“The severity of this sentence reflects the serious nature of this crime and the severe trauma that was inflicted on those who were present during this frightening and violent robbery,” said District Attorney Ryan. “I am grateful for the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies across multiple jurisdictions who helped us to bring this case to a resolution.”
On September 15, 2018, at approximately 8:06 a.m. two masked men entered the Walgreens Pharmacy in Sherborn brandishing a hand gun and a crowbar. The men ordered the pharmacist to open the drug safe and also ransacked multiple aisles, where pharmaceuticals were on the shelves, allegedly stealing over 9,500 pills. The investigation established that Viola spearheaded the planning of the robbery. He went to the store to surveil it six times prior to the robbery, sometimes joined by another involved party, took videos of the inside of the store and paid for a motel room to be used after the crime.
This case was investigated by the Sherborn Police Department, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the District Attorney’s Office with assistance from Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services, Massachusetts State Police Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST), the Everett Police Department, Natick Police Department, Swampscott Police Department, Salem Police Department, Milford Police Department, Revere Police Department, the Lynn Police Department, and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.
The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Mary F.P. O’Neill, Doug Cannon and Lindsay Russell. The Victim Witness Advocate was Kristen Chamberlain.