'Drugstore Cowboy' pleads to moniker crime

Feb. 3, 2011 at 7:21 PM
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SEATTLE, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. author whose novel "Drugstore Cowboy" was made into a film starring Matt Dillon pleaded guilty to a crime at the center of his story, drugstore robbery.

James Fogle -- whose autobiographical novel about drug addicts supporting their habit by robbing pharmacies and hospitals as they traveled across the U.S. Pacific Northwest -- pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court in Seattle Wednesday to first-degree robbery with a firearm. He was accused of robbing a Redmond, Wash., drugstore May 25, 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.

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant turned Fogle's unpublished novel into a critically acclaimed 1989 movie.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 and hit the shelves 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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