A 27-year-old Albert Lea man pleaded guilty last week to second-degree manslaughter in the overdose death of another man in a South St. Paul hotel room.

Dustin Charles Chenevert was originally charged with third-degree murder, accused of selling methadone pills to 18-year-old Colton Jayce Poplow, also of Albert Lea. Poplow died from a methadone overdose on Feb. 28 while visiting South St. Paul for the weekend with his father and a friend, according to charges filed by the Dakota County Attorney’s office.

In an interview with the friend, investigators learned that Poplow bought five Dilaudid pills and at least six methadone pills from a man who went by “Dusto Busto” — later identified as Chenevert, according to the criminal complaint. The friend told authorities that Poplow consumed two pills the night before his death, the complaint said.

After identifying Chenevert, police searched the Albert Lea home in which he lived with his mother, who has prescriptions for Dilaudid and methadone. The complaint said she told police she discovered 150 methadone pills were missing months earlier. Investigators found that her recently refilled methadone bottle was missing 74 pills.

Chenevert had denied ever selling his mother’s pills, but Poplow’s friend said Chenevert sent him a Facebook message the day of Poplow’s death saying that it “better not come back on him,” according to the complaint.

Chenevert will be sentenced on July 8.

KAREN ZAMORA