Aaron Boogaard broke down while speaking about his brother Derek, who died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and drugs, at a memorial service last May at the Xcel Energy Center.
Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune
Boogaard brother faces drug charge
- Article by: MATT McKINNEY, PAUL WALSH and MICHAEL RUSSO
- Star Tribune staff writers
- July 22, 2011 - 10:05 AM
The investigation into the overdose-related death of Derek Boogaard led to the arrest of his 24-year-old brother Wednesday in Minneapolis on suspicion of prescription fraud/possession of prescription pills, police said.
Aaron Boogaard, a Canadian national from Regina, Saskatchewan, is being held at the Hennepin County jail on the drug arrest and on a federal immigration hold, according to the jail's website. The Minneapolis police record listing Aaron Boogaard's arrest says that the date and time of his alleged crime is May 13, the day that family members found former Wild tough guy Derek Boogaard, 28, dead in his Warehouse District apartment.
The arrest resulted from the investigation into Derek Boogaard's death, said Minneapolis police Capt. Amelia Huffman. The details of the allegation have not yet been made public. The Hennepin County Attorney's office has until noon Friday to charge him with a crime.
Boogaard is expected to be charged Friday morning.
The family of Aaron Boogaard issued the following statement Thursday: "This is a very unfortunate circumstance and we believe Aaron is involved because he may have potential information about a larger investigation. One thing is certain, the charges brought against Aaron have nothing to do with his brother, Derek Boogaard's death. The family continues to grieve the loss of Derek and is troubled by this turn of events, which makes the pain for the family even more difficult."
Boogaard's attorneys, John Lundquist and Lindsay Sokolowski, declined comment until charges are brought.
The brothers' father, Len, later explained that Aaron was attempting to control what Derek was taking.
"We are all very upset over all of this on top of losing a son and brother, and now this," added Joanne Boogaard, Derek and Aaron's mother, who traveled to Minneapolis and was consulting with Canadian government officials about her younger son's troubles. "This doesn't make any sense to us."
A week after the death, the Boogaard family came forward with a public statement acknowledging that Derek Boogaard had struggled with addiction. The statement came hours after the Hennepin County medical examiner reported that Derek Boogaard died of an accidental mix of alcohol and the prescription painkiller Oxycodone.
One day before he died, Derek Boogaard returned to Minneapolis from Los Angeles, where he was undergoing drug rehabilitation. Witnesses say he spent that night into the early hours of May 13 in downtown Minneapolis at several bars.
He was last seen alive by his brother Aaron around 4 a.m. on May 13. Aaron Boogaard picked up another brother, Ryan, at the airport that afternoon. When they arrived at Derek's home, they discovered him unconscious and not breathing.
The drug Percocet, a painkiller with small doses of Oxycodone in it, was found at the scene, according to sources close to the incident.
A 6-7, 240-pound enforcer who rarely scored goals over his six-year career, Boogaard's death was devastating to many Wild fans. Some placed flowers outside Gate 2 of Xcel Energy Center. Before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, the NHL held a moment of silence for Boogaard, who ended his career with the New York Rangers.
Also a hockey player, Aaron Boogaard was a Wild late-round draft choice in 2004. He has played for various teams since then, having yet to crack the NHL.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed the hold on Aaron Boogaard for "suspected immigration violations," said Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman in the Twin Cities for the agency. He declined to say more about the federal side of Aaron Boogaard's troubles.
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