A 43-year-old Cushing man who pleaded guilty in April to robbing a Rockland pharmacy at knifepoint more than one year ago, will spend the next 43 months incarcerated in federal prison.

Elbert M. Ranquist Jr. was sentenced Sept. 4 by Judge Nancy Torresen. Ranquist is also ordered to enroll in a 500-hour comprehensive drug treatment program, according to court documents.

The defendant was indicted in November 2013 in U.S. District Court in Portland by a federal jury for robbery. Ranquist could have faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to court records.

Ranquist was originally charged by the state with felony armed robbery, stealing drugs and violating probation after he was arrested at his home in early August 2013 by Maine Drug Enforcement Agents for brandishing a knife at Jensen's Pharmacy and demanding drugs. The state dropped the case against Ranquist as the federal government took over prosecution of the case.

Rockland Police Deputy Chief Wally Tower said Ranquist was known by Jensen's  Pharmacy staff and shortly before 6 p.m., Ranquist went into the pharmacy dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, and brandished a knife while demanding oxycodone. He left the store with 10 5-milligram pills.

Owner Curtis Jensen said at the time he was "100 percent sure" Ranquist was the assailant, and added he called Ranquist by name and that he responded to it during the robbery, according to an affidavit filed in Knox County Superior Court. Jensen told police Ranquist was in the store earlier that day picking up prescriptions for himself and his wife.

A motion to revoke bail, filed by the state, will be taken up again after the federal case is finalized. If Ranquist is convicted, four years of outstanding time for an arson conviction will be added concurrently to the federal sentence. Ranquist admitted he violated his probation in Knox County Superior Court Feb. 24.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at jlaaka@villagesoup.com.