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One Ala. man charged, another is in custody for alleged roles in Benson pharmacy burglary

BENSON -- A man has been charged with second-degree burglary in connection to the Oct. 19 burglary of Breen's Pharmacy in Benson, with another man in custody in Alabama, according to Benson Police Chief Jim Crace.

Police are looking for a third suspect.

James Michael McClintock, 55, of Hanceville, Ala., appeared March 31 in Swift County District Court. He's also charged in Renville County with first-degree drug possession, second-degree burglary and theft and in Lac qui Parle County for theft and burglary.

According to Crace, the three men are suspects in burglaries that took place last year at other pharmacies in Olivia, Dawson, Baker, Mont., and Phillip, S.D.

In the Benson case, McClintock went to a local doctor, received a prescription and then went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription. He and the two other suspects allegedly later returned to the pharmacy and entered the building through a heating vent on the roof. They stole oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine and oxycotin. They left by breaking out the door.

"Our investigation has revealed that these guys were traveling up to the Midwest and committing these burglaries at small town pharmacies because they believed they lack adequate security systems," Crace said. "Once they made entry into the stores; they would take as much of the controlled substances that they could and then return to Alabama where they would sell the prescription medications for recreational use. Because they were transporting these stolen drugs across state lines, federal laws are applicable."

Representatives from various police departments and county attorney offices along with agents from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, met in March to compile evidence against the men.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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