Seventh Pharmacy Burglar Pleads Guilty In Federal Court
APR 3 -- DALE MACDONALD, 24, of Marysville, Washington, was the latest defendant to plead guilty recently in U.S. District Court in Seattle in connection with a scheme to burglarize pharmacies in the Pacific Northwest and sell prescription narcotics. MACDONALD pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglarize pharmacies, burglarizing pharmacies, and distributing narcotics stolen from the pharmacies, and admitted joining with several other Snohomish County men in burglarizing pharmacies within a tri-state area, including Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Specific burglaries included burglaries in Snohomish, Washington, Salem, Oregon, Sutherlin, Oregon, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Everett, Washington. MACDONALD is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on June 22, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.
The burglaries were all committed using the same modus operandi, to wit, the burglars broke in after regular business hours, during the late evening or early morning hours, and cut the telephone lines leading to the pharmacies prior to breaking into each pharmacy in order to disable the pharmacy’s remote alarm. The burglars wore gloves so as not to leave fingerprints, and gathered up the narcotics inside the pharmacy, including thousands of pills containing oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, meperidine, fentanyl, and amphetamines, among other Schedule II and III controlled substances. The drugs were then transported to the Marysville, Washington area, where they were later sold to others.
As part of his plea agreement, MACDONALD agreed to forfeit any monies earned through such misconduct, and to pay restitution to each of the pharmacies for the physical damage caused, and for the value of the drugs taken. As indicated above, several other Snohomish County individuals have already pleaded guilty in United States District Court to committing pharmacy burglaries in furtherance of this scheme, and three others have pleaded guilty to distributing the drugs. In a related case, another associate, from Marysville, Washington, pleaded guilty to being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, an AR-15 type weapon, a felony violation of Title 18, United States Code, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Investigation is continuing and charges against additional participants in this criminal network are anticipated.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA), the Marysville, Washington Police Department, Snohomish, Washington Police Department, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, Police Department, Salem, Oregon, Police Department, and Sutherlin, Oregon Police Department.