News and Press Releases

DISTRIBUTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN PHARMACY BURGLARY SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2007

ALEX E. BRAND, 23, of Everett, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to participating in a conspiracy to distribute pharmaceutical controlled substances in violation of federal law. This felony offense is punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment and a one million dollar fine.

BRAND acted as a distributor for multiple pharmacy burglars who were part of a pharmacy burglary ring operating from Snohomish County. The group burglarized numerous pharmacies over a 4-State area, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California, between 2004 and 2006.

On February 14, 2006, Tulalip Police officers conducted a traffic stop of BRAND as he drove on the Indian reservation. BRAND was alone in his vehicle at the time. Next to BRAND on the seat was a loaded Taurus .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. In the back seat, was BRAND’s backpack which contained multi-pill packages of oxycodone, methadone, and morphine, Schedule II controlled substances, and Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances, including hydrocodone, diazepam, and clonazepam, which BRAND possessed in furtherance of the conspiracy, and intended to sell and distribute to others. Also in the backpack, BRAND carried a loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.

BRAND is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on October 12, 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 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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