Prosecutors in Minnesota are really cracking down on those who use and deal heroin. The idea is to punish those in charge of supplying the highly addictive drug that is leading to overdose deaths throughout the state.
Recently, a 30-year-old was found guilty of third-degree murder. In this case, prosecutors claimed the 30-year-old sold heroin to a 26-year-old man in north Minneapolis. This 26-year-old went on to supply the heroin to a 19-year-old who ended up overdosing in a Little Falls home on Feb. 28, 2012.
The prosecutor in this case said it was one of the first times his office convicted a drug dealer for selling an illegal drug to an intermediary buyer who then provided it to someone who overdosed.
According to state guidelines, this third-degree murder conviction calls for more than 11 years behind bars.
This 30-year-old dealer is also not the only one charged in this case. In fact, the three who lived in the home where the woman overdosed have also been charged.
One of those charged, a 31-year-old who shared the home with his 39-year-old girlfriend, pleaded guilty to felony drug possession. He also testified against the dealer in return for a one year jail sentence and 20 years on probation. Without this, he was facing more than four year in prison.
His girlfriend also pleaded guilty to two felony drug charges and a gross misdemeanor for operating a disorderly house. Most likely, she will be sentenced to 15 years of probation and time already served.
There is one more person tied to this case, a 26-year-old who lived upstairs and was arrested for aiding and abetting third-degree murder. His trial was supposed to start in September, but he is considered a fugitive as his trial date came and went.
For those living in Minneapolis, what this case goes to show is that even though a drug user is making the choice to use drugs and put their lives in danger, others may end up facing serious charges related to their death.
Source: StarTribune, “Mpls. heroin dealer guilty of murder in teen’s overdose,” Oct. 31, 2013