A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to the lesser of two charges in connection with providing an illicit drug that killed an Edina woman in her home.

Gregory A. Loupe, 39, admitted in Hennepin County District Court last week to second-degree sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to a term or 4½ years. As part of the plea deal, a third-degree murder count was dismissed.

The drug charge was filed months after the murder count and grew out of police searching his home following the death 14 months ago of 46-year-old Maria L. Dalton in the 6800 block of Creston Avenue, said County Attorney’s Office spokesman Chuck Laszewski.

Officers came to the home on April 7, 2018, that morning and found Dalton dead in her bedroom. Her two juvenile daughters were there as well.

Dalton served as a firefighter with the Minneapolis Fire Department from 2001 until 2008, a department spokesman said.

With time in jail since his arrest, Loupe will serve roughly 2¼ years in prison and the balance on supervised release. He also was ordered to pay restitution of more than $1,400 to Dalton’s family.

According to the charges:

One daughter told police that her mother picked her up from a shopping mall about 9:30 the previous night and went to bed about 90 minutes later. The other daughter found the mother unresponsive the next morning and called 911.

Officers found in Dalton’s bedroom a rolled-up dollar bill, a brown substance containing heroin and fentanyl, and numerous pills.

A police search of her cellphone revealed communication between Loupe and Dalton dating back to mid-2017 about drug transactions, including on the night before she died.

Officers searched Loupe’s home and recovered cocaine, marijuana, a digital scale, a handgun and more than $2,000 in cash.