Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Victim of drive-by shooting in Swampscott linked to robbery in Sherborn

The 38-year-old man who was the target of a drive-by shooting near a Swampscott elementary school in September has been charged with robbing a Walgreens in Sherborn.

Joseph Graciale, of Lynn, was arrested on drug charges last month after a search warrant was executed at his Stetson Avenue home in Swampscott. Police seized hundreds of pharmaceutical grade pills packaged for distribution.

During the raid, the State Police STOP team, Sherborn Police, Lynn Police and Swampscott Police found evidence linking him to the Sherborn robbery, which took place on Sept. 15, Swampscott Police Sgt. Tim Cassidy said.

Two other men, Michael Viola, 55, of Revere, and Adam Albanese, 41, of Salem, have been charged with the joint venture masked and armed robbery, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.

The three men have all been charged with two counts of masked armed robbery with a crowbar, two counts of masked armed robbery with a firearm, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, stealing by confining or putting a person in fear, trafficking over 200 grams of oxycodone, trafficking over 200 grams of morphine, trafficking over 36 grams of methadone, trafficking over 18 grams of hydromorphone, fentanyl possession with intent to distribute, Class B drug (methylphenidate) possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to traffic in a derivative of opium, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said two masked men allegedly entered Walgreens Pharmacy shortly after 8 a.m. while brandishing a handgun and crowbar. The men allegedly ordered the pharmacist to open the drug safe and then entered several aisles with shelves of pharmaceuticals and stole more than 9,500 pills.

An investigation revealed the three men planned and executed the robbery by conducting surveillance and visiting the pharmacy multiple times in the weeks before it took place, prosecutors said.

The three men were indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on Dec. 6. Viola and Albanese were arrested the next day. Graciale is being held on the case out of Swampscott.

The charges were the result of a months-long investigation conducted by the Sherborn Police Department, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and State Police assigned to the DA’s office, with assistance from the Lynn, Natick, Revere, Salem, Swampscott and Wellesley Police departments.

Graciale was the intended target of a drive-by shooting near Clarke Elementary School in September.

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