Subscribe for 33¢ / day

A Bismarck pharmacist is accused of terrorizing students at a school and sending child pornography to 20 people, including his own family members.

Curtis James McGarvey, 50, was charged Monday with felonies including 20 counts of promoting sexual performance by a minor, one count of child neglect and one count of terrorizing. An investigation into McGarvey, led by the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, has been ongoing for almost two years.

McGarvey had his initial appearance in court Monday, where South Central District Judge David Reich set his bond at $250,000.

"Curtis has been a member of this community his whole life; he’s married, has children, has worked here his whole life, and really has no record of any kind and he very strongly maintains his innocence in this matter," said Justin Vinje, McGarvey's attorney.

According to a news release Monday from the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, eight search warrants were executed by the the sheriff's department, the Bismarck Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and multiple items were seized Friday.

According to court documents, on June 7, 2016, the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department received a report that someone had hacked into a girl's cell phone and was "leaving messages" on her phone then deleting them. The girl said someone had obtained her passwords and accounts on her phone.

Her mom also told the sheriff's department that she received a text message with a photo of a nude female with an underage girl's face "photoshopped" on with a threat of forwarding the photo to others.

During the investigation, the sheriff's department identified a number of social media accounts, voice over internet protocol accounts and email addresses involved in the incident. The sheriff's department traced the IP addresses to some of those accounts to McGarvey's residence and places of work.

McGarvey is a licensed pharmacist in North Dakota and is employed by Professional Pharmacy which operates Valley View Pharmacy inside Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center, according to Mark Hardy, executive director of the state Board of Pharmacy.

The board has opened a case on McGarvey, but will not take any action on his license pending additional information on the criminal case, according to Hardy.

On April 29, 2017, the girl's mom reported she received a GIF video file on her phone of a female who appeared to be less than 18 years old performing oral sex on a male.

The sheriff's department uncovered additional IP addresses, including one that was linked to the email address that sent the GIF, and connected them to McGarvey.

The email address sent the GIF to 20 people, including McGarvey, his wife and his two adult sons. It was also sent to a minor.

This email address was associated with a phone number that was used to make a threat against Bismarck High School on May 3. A deputy with the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department received a text from a number that said there was a firebomb at Bismarck High School's senior banquet, which was held at Sixteen03 Main Events in Bismarck, following with a second message that said failure to act could "risk 200 kids' lives." The building was evacuated and searched.

The Burleigh County Sheriff's Department has worked in conjunction with multiple agencies in the investigation, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bismarck Public Schools. The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges may be forthcoming, according to the news release.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

14
6
10
21
76

Education and Health Reporter