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New Fargo pharmacy owner accused of stealing prescription pills from former boss, apologizing with basket of muffins

By Emily Welker / The forum

FARGO – A former drugstore employee here allegedly left his job with more than $3,200 worth of stolen prescription pills, and then tried to apologize to the store owner with a muffin basket after he was caught by Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

Michael Gary Glessing, 29, of Fargo, was charged Monday in Cass County District Court with one count of misapplication of entrusted property, a Class C felony.

Court documents filed with the charges state that Chad Nelson, owner of Metro Drug in downtown Fargo, reported to the DEA on Oct. 28 that Glessing had stolen $3,251.03 worth of Schedule II medications on his last day of work, which was Sept. 6.

Schedule II medications include prescription opiates such as methadone and morphine, as well as opiates.

The DEA recovered the drugs from Glessing, who, they told Nelson, admitted stealing them.

Glessing then left a letter of apology, a check for the worth of the medications and a basket of muffins and cookies on Nelson’s front doorstep, according to the criminal complaint.

“He only did that because he was already caught,” Nelson said in an interview Tuesday. “I’ve been staying in touch with the state’s attorney.”

Nelson said he did not believe his former employee was stealing the drugs for street resale.

Rather, he said, Glessing, an “ambitious” new pharmacist, left Metro drug to open his own pharmacy but lacked the correct licensure to buy the Schedule II drugs himself.

They are tightly controlled because these drugs pose the most potential for harm through abuse, and are considered almost as dangerous as Schedule I street drugs like cocaine, he said.

“That’s the problem with him taking them from me,” Nelson said. “They are the ones that matter.”

Cass County prosecutor Leah Viste said she will consider Glessing’s apology letter for use as evidence in the case.

His first court date has not been set.

Glessing was the subject of the story “Fargo pharmacist drops 150 pounds” in Monday’s Forum, in which he was profiled as the owner of a new pharmacy inside Hornbacher’s on 13th Avenue and 42nd Street South.

Glessing told The Forum that he offers a selection of his mother’s baked goods inside the pharmacy.

However, Glessing said at the time, he won’t eat the baked goods himself, since losing 150 pounds through diet and exercise over the course of the past couple of years.

He declined comment for this story.



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