A Lindstrom man and a Center City girl were charged last week with third-degree murder in connection to the overdose death of a Wyoming man.
According to Wyoming police, Alexander James Menne, 18, of Lindstrom, and a 17-year-old Center City girl were charged Feb. 17. Under Minnesota statute, a person who is believed to have unintentionally caused the death of another person by giving or selling him or her an illegal schedule I or II drug can be charged with third-degree murder. Police allege that the duo gave a Wyoming man (whose name has not been released) some pills that contained oxycodone and fentanyl on Dec. 12, 2016, and that the man died due to his ingestion of the pills a few hours later. An autopsy on the man revealed that fentanyl toxicity was a factor in his death; fentanyl is a potent pain medication that can result in an overdose death if used recreationally.
According to court records, a Wyoming officer responded to a home in the 25000 block of East Comfort Drive around 3:40 p.m. after the man’s girlfriend entered the home and found the man unresponsive on the bathroom floor. The girlfriend and first responders attempted to resuscitate the man but were unsuccessful; he was declared dead shortly after 4 p.m.
The man’s girlfriend allegedly told police that she thought he may have taken some pills called “black beauties,” which had been dropped in the man’s mailbox by Menne and the Center City teen, Menne’s girlfriend, earlier in the day. She claimed that Menne would purchase pills illicitly online and sell them to her boyfriend, who sold the pills locally. Officers found 3 1/2 green pills in the bathroom, which were revealed in testing to contain fentanyl.
Court records state that the Center City teen told police the pills were payment to the Wyoming man after she and Menne accidentally hit his mailbox. Police extracted data from the Wyoming man’s phone and allegedly found a text conversation between Menne and the man about the pills, which confirmed the story about the pills being given as payment for hitting the mailbox and suggested that the pills had been placed in the mailbox for the man to pick up.
The extraction also located a text from the man’s phone to another person about an hour before the man’s body was discovered. The text appeared to state that the sender had just taken a drug and was experiencing a good high.
“(I)t’s awesome and we can make so much (expletive) money off of these,” the text read in part.
The complaint also stated that Menne was on probation for a separate drug case and had recently skipped out on his probation officer before police found and arrested him.
According to Wyoming Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe, police did not issue any media release about the case until Feb. 17 because they did not want to compromise the investigation. The Lakes Area Police Department assisted Wyoming with the arrests.
The investigation is still open, but Hoppe did not say whether police expect more people to be charged in connection with the case.