News and Press Releases

Conspirators Broke into Pharmacies Throughout the Northwest and West Coast

February 21, 2007

DAVID PALFREY, 30, of Marysville, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to pharmacy burglary in connection with a scheme to burglarize pharmacies in the Pacific Northwest and sell prescription narcotics. Palfrey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglarize a a pharmacy, a felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

According to court documents, PALFREY admitted to joining with another Snohomish County man, Kenneth Graham, in burglarizing a Rite-Aid Pharmacy located at 1329 Lee Boulevard in Richland, Washington. PALFREY and Graham flew by plane from Seattle to Boise, Idaho, where they rented a vehicle to be used in committing the burglary. During the late evening hours of July 13, 2006, they arrived at the pharmacy and cut the telephone lines leading to the pharmacy, disabling the pharmacy’s remote alarm. They then telephoned the pharmacy to insure the phone lines were inoperative. A few hours later, on July 14, 2006, between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., they returned to the pharmacy to commit the burglary. During the burglary, PALFREY remained in the vehicle acting as a “lookout,” while Graham broke into the pharmacy and stole the drugs. PALFREY and Graham kept their cellular phones turned on and in communication with each other while the burglary took place. Graham returned to the vehicle with the drugs and they left the area. Stocks of oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and amphetamines, among other Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances, were stolen during the burglary. Approximately 14,000 pills were taken, with a wholesale cost to the pharmacy of approximately $13,520.00. The drugs were returned to the Marysville, Washington area, where they were distributed to others. PALFREY was paid approximately $3,000 by Graham as compensation for his participation in the activity.

Other Snohomish County individuals who have already pleaded guilty in United States District Court to committing pharmacy burglaries in furtherance of this scheme, are Michael Hinkle, 39, Ivan Stoutenburg, 31, Jeremy Swanson, 30 , James Phillips, 24, and Kenneth Graham, 29 – all of whom are awaiting sentencing. Those who have pleaded guilty to acting as distributors for the enterprise include Lyle Woods, 32, Jennifer Hinkle, 34, and Todd Downes, 27. Investigation is continuing and charges against additional participants in this criminal network are anticipated.

As part of his plea agreement, PALFREY agreed to pay restitution to the pharmacy for the physical damage done and for the value of the drugs taken.

PALFREY is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on May 25, 2007.

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, and the Richland, Washington Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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