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Annandale man charged with murder in 18-year-old's overdose

Charges allege he provided the deadly heroin to the victim.

An Annandale man is charged with murder in the overdose death of an 18-year-old man earlier this year.

Zachary Wolf, 24, was charged Wednesday with one count of third-degree murder, according to a criminal complaint filed in Stearns County. 

He's accused of facilitating the purchase of heroin that ultimately caused the South Haven man's death. The victim identified as Landis Benton, was found dead at a home on the 4900 block of Bluehill Circle in South Haven, Minnesota, on March 16. 

According to the charges:

A witness with the victim on the afternoon of his death told investigators that Wolf, who also goes by "Skittles," was the victim's regular source for heroin.

Witnesses at Wolf's residence said he, the victim, the witness and another male had driven to Shakopee together to buy drugs. Wolf, they said, collected money from the group and was the one to directly purchase the heroin and other controlled substances, then distribute the substances. Phone records suggested this was a regular occurrence.

Around 6 p.m. that night, the victim messaged a friend to say he planned to "get really messed up with Skittles."

On March 15, the witness said he and the victim were at the residence on Bluehill Circle together, smoking heroin. The victim left around 4 p.m. because he fell ill and vomited. Several hours later, he tried to call the victim, who did not answer.

The next day, police were called to the home on a report of an unresponsive male, the victim, who was deceased at the scene.

An autopsy determined the victim's cause of death to be "the toxic effects of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and methamphetamine."

If convicted, Wolf faces up to 25 years in prison and/or up to a $40,000 fine. He was booked into Stearns County Jail on May 18, with bail set at $300,000.

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