Montrose man admits to burglaries
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
A Montrose man pleaded guilty Friday to two Wyoming County burglaries last winter and agreed to pay restitution in two similar incidents.
Michael William Hillier, 20, entered his guilty plea in the Wyoming County Court of Common Pleas for breaking into the Winola Pharmacy at Lake Winola on March 10 and Gin’s Tavern near Factoryville on Feb. 13.
An alleged accomplice, Sean Michael Smith, 20, of Jessup, told police he and Hillier, along with two 17-year-old girls, went to the Winola Pharmacy on March 8 and tried unsuccessfully to pry open the rear door. They fled when the alarm went off.
They returned two days later, and Smith told police they took taken numerous bottles of pain medication including oxycontin and percocet from behind the pharmacy counter.
Smith also admitted his and Hillier’s involvement with the tavern burglary, saying the two of them pried open a door and took cigarettes. He said they fled when they heard a truck pull up outside.
Two days before the Gins incident, police had investigated a burglary at Lech’s Pharmacy in Nicholson
Pharmacy owner Joe Lech told police that a surveillance video showed two men at the back of the store about 4:15 a.m., carrying bolt cutters.
On Friday in addition to his guilty pleas, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, Hillier agreed to pay full restitution for damage done to Lech’s and for the attempted break-in March 8.
Smith was in the Wyoming County court Friday but for a possession of drug paraphernalia charge, to which he pleaded guilty.
Following the plea, he returned to the Lackawanna County jail on unrelated charges.
Smith still faces outstanding charges in the four incidents linked to Hillier: three counts of burglary, three counts of criminal trespass, two counts of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of receiving stolen property, and five counts of criminal mischief.