Real-life ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ Pleads Guilty to Pharmacy Heist


SEATTLE, Wash. — Author James Fogle whose novel “Drugstore Cowboy” was made into the 1989 film starring Matt Dillon plead guilty Wednesday to a similar crime depicted in his book.

Fogle whose autobiographical novel about drug addicts supporting their habit by robbing pharmacies and hospitals as they traveled across the U.S. Pacific Northwest — plead guilty in King County Superior Court in Seattle to first-degree robbery with a firearm. Fogle and an accomplice are accused of robbing a Redmond, Washington drugstore in May 2010.

Prosecutors will seek a 16-year prison term for Fogle, 73, who was rolled into the courtroom in a wheelchair and had an oxygen tube up to his nose, KIRO-TV, Seattle, reported.

According to The Seattle Times, Fogle and another man walked into a drugstore armed with a handgun and a BB gun and took control of the employees by tying them up and then proceeded to fill a trash bag with various drugs.

One employee, however, managed to trip the silent alarm and also alerted a passerby that the joint was being robbed. So when Fogle and his cohort exited the store, they were met by police with guns drawn.

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant turned Fogle’s unpublished novel into a critically acclaimed 1989 movie. Fogle was in Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla when the film was released. His book was published the following year.

Fogle — who has been in and out of prison since 1954 — was arrested on the robbery May 27 along with another man, and held on $500,000 bail.

He is to be sentenced March 4.

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