News and Press Releases

Conspirators Broke into Pharmacies Throughout the Northwest and West Coast

September 26, 2007

DALE MACDONALD, 24, of Lake Stevens, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 65 months imprisonment, and ordered to pay $65,089.48 in restitution 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.

MACDONALD joined with other Snohomish County men in burglarizing pharmacies throughout the Pacific Northwest over a 2-year period from 2004 to 2006. Specific burglaries admitted by the defendant included pharmacies in Snohomish, Washington, Salem, Oregon, Sutherlin, Oregon, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and Everett, Washington.

The burglaries were committed in common fashion during the late evening/early morning hours while the pharmacies were closed for business. The telephone lines leading to the pharmacies were cut by the burglars 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 collected powerful 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 transported to the Marysville, Washington area, where they were sold to others. MACDONALD’s actions included that of breaking into the pharmacies, locating and removing drugs, and distributing the drugs to others, all of which he did in return for the money earned through the unlawful conduct.

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, Sutherlin, Oregon Police Department, and Everett, 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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