An Oakdale woman who allegedly sold the dangerous drug methadone by text message has been charged in the overdose death of a Scandia man.
Emily Katherine Frye, 21, was charged Thursday with third-degree murder in connection with Frank Eck's death in August after he began vomiting and acting erratically. Methadone is a powerful, potentially life-threatening drug used to treat addictions to narcotic drugs such as heroin.
"People need to be aware that providing another person with a controlled substance can make them responsible for whatever may happen to the person receiving that drug, including the death of that person," said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner concluded that Eck died of "acute methadone toxicity," according to criminal charges filed in Washington County District Court. He was found dead in his bedroom after telling a friend that he "went overboard and did too many pills," the charges said.
Sheriff's deputies searching his vehicle found a pill crusher, a rolled-up $20 bill, and a razor blade with white residue. It was later discovered that the white residue tested positive for methadone.
The transaction was described this way in the complaint:
Frye allegedly met Eck, a member of the Minnesota National Guard, outside an Oakdale fast-food restaurant the night of July 29 after exchanging text messages with him. He agreed to buy 12 pills at $5 apiece, and Frye allegedly sent him a text message saying that "the more you get the better deal."
Later that evening he agreed to buy 11 more methadone pills for $4 each.
A cellphone found in Eck's bedroom showed that he had texted Frye asking her for pills. In his last text message, sent at 11:43 p.m., he stated that he would be "peaking" in an hour.
He was found dead the evening of Aug. 1 behind a locked bedroom door in Scandia, a city in northern Washington County.
When Frye heard about Eck's death she began crying and "freaking out" and hitting the side of her car with her hand. "I knew I shouldn't have sold him those methadone," she told a witness.
Frye was arrested Thursday and taken to the Washington County jail. She was scheduled to make her initial appearance in court on Friday morning.
"My office is bound and determined to go after bona fide drug dealers as aggressively as we can," Orput said. "The victim in this case had an addiction problem and was vulnerable as a result. The blame for his death, however, lies squarely at the feet of the drug dealer, and that is where our attention will be focused."
Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037 Twitter: @stribgiles