Two charged with murder for supplying heroin in overdose death

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Law enforcement officials in Minnesota vowed recently to take a more aggressive approach to combating the growing epidemic of heroin use, and they made good on that promise this week when murder charges were filed against two men for supplying the heroin that led to another man's overdose death.

Anthony Allyn Simons, 22, of Brooklyn Park, and James Marione Butchee, 29, of Minneapolis, were charged with third-degree murder in the death of a 22-year-old Maple Grove man this past summer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Freeman said his office has been more assertive in the past few years about charging people who supply drugs that lead to someone's overdose death.

“We are aggressively prosecuting,” Freeman said. “We want to send a statement.”

According to the criminal complaint, the victim, called JDP in court documents, went with two friends to buy heroin the night of July 11. One of those friends was Simons. They drove to a restaurant on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis and once there, Simons made a phone call, left the car and returned with a baggie containing heroin.

When they returned to the victim's home, JDP injected the heroin and began acting strangely, stripping off his clothing and speaking incoherently, according to the complaint.

Simons and the other friend said JDP was still alive when they left his home later that night. He was found dead the next morning, according to the complaint.

Simon reportedly admitted to police that he had arranged to buy the heroin from a man he knew as "C," who was later identified as James Butchee.

The number of heroin deaths in Minnesota has risen sharply in the past few years, as it's become cheaper to buy but is purer in form.

Police, prosecutors and medical experts are pursuing several strategies to help reduce those overdose numbers, which they discussed behind closed doors at a "heroin summit" in Minneapolis in September.

One of those strategies became a new state law this year; it allows emergency personnel to carry and administer a heroin (and other opiates) overdose antidote called Naloxone, often referred to as Narcan.

The new law also provides immunity from prosecution for people who call 911 to report an overdose.

In another recent case, authorities in October busted a large heroin ring that had been operating in north Minneapolis and indicted eight people on federal charges.

The dealers attracted drug buyers from all over the Twin Cities metro area, and sold more than 5,000 packets of heroin each month, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Next Up

cook county schools

Investigation after assistant principal displays "joke" Gadsden flag during announcements

"My apologies to anybody who was offended by that part of the snake that was on that comic and it's been taken down."

Forest - orono, Minnesota

Report: Forests, agricultural land could help Minnesota reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Nature Conservancy's Minnesota chapter released a report that shows how many acres of trees would be needed to help the state reach its reduction goals.

University of Minnesota

U of M will halt admissions to 12 PhD programs

The move is expected to help address the school's estimated budget shortfall of $166 million.

snow, plow

NWS says 'increasing potential for an impactful winter storm' this weekend

Nothing is certain yet. The weather service advises Minnesotans to monitor the forecast.

Mike Lindell, My Pillow CEO.

Under-fire Mike Lindell claims retailers have dropped MyPillow

The MyPillow CEO is seeing receiving backlash as he continues to share conspiracy theories about the election.

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Antoine Winfield Jr. says playoff win was "for my pops back in '09"

The son of the Vikings legend did not forget about "Bountygate."

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.

vaccine

It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.

Related