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Man pleads guilty to Blackduck drug store burglary

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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A 41-year-old man has admitted to helping another man steal more than $20,000 worth of prescription medications from a drug store in Blackduck.

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Kenneth John McNeal of Mounds View, Minn., pleaded guilty Monday to felony second-degree burglary.

His next court appearance is set for April 2.

According to court papers:

Deputies with the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office arrived around 5:30 p.m. July 17, 2011, at Moon's Drug Store, 17 Main St., in response to a burglary complaint.

Upon arrival deputies found a large window had been broken and a garage door had been forced open. They also observed a large amount of prescription pills and pill bottles littering the ground and trailing toward the south.

After further investigation, officials determined the suspect, identified as James Michael McClintock, 57, of Duluth, had entered the store by prying open pieces of wood and removing glass and sheet rock near a window on the south side of the building.

Once inside the pharmacy, McClintock knocked over several items, causing him to lose his prescription glasses. Before leaving, he grabbed $28,688 worth numerous narcotics and prescription drugs, including Oxycotin, Claritin and Hydrocodone.

McClintock then kicked out a panel on the northeast corner of the garage door, exited the building and ran southbound, dropping a large amount of pills along the way.

A special agent with the Paul Bunyan Task Force was informed by a special agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that some of the drugs stolen from Moon Drug in Blackduck had been sold by McClintock in Duluth.

Court papers also state:

On July 27, 2011, a special agent with the Paul Bunyan Task Force learned McClintock had been taken into custody for selling the prescription drugs. A majority of the pills stolen from the drug store in Blackduck were found on McClintock and his vehicle.

The special agent also learned McNeal drove McClintock to the Moon Drug Store in Blackduck.

Two special agents with the Paul Bunyan Task Force traveled to Moundsview to speak with McNeal.

When they arrived at his residence, McNeal said McClintock arranged for McNeal and two females to stay at a casino in Cass Lake for a night or two in exchange for $300.

Once they arrived in Cass Lake, McNeal said McClintock told him he needed a ride to Bemidji.

McNeal said he gave McClintock a ride to Blackduck instead of Bemidji. He said McClintock instructed him to park in a motel parking lot and to wait until he returned.

McNeal said he became frightened so he drove away, eventually returning to Cass Lake without McClintock. After some time, however, McNeal said he returned to Blackduck and picked up McClintock, who was carrying a green military-style bag.

When they arrived back at the casino, McNeal said McClintock dumped the contents of the bag, which McNeal estimated contained 30 or 40 bottles of pills, on the bed.

McNeal said they then left the hotel and drove to the Twin Cities. McNeal admitted he knew the trip was to do something illegal and he was upset he only received $300.

On Aug. 9, 2011, special agents with the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force were notified that McClintock wanted to speak with them. During that interview, McClintock said he was responsible for the break in at the Moon Drug Store in Blackduck. He also stated he targeted the drug store because he was told it would be an easy target to burglarize.

McClintock failed to appear at his court appearance March 8. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Pioneer staff reports
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