A Brooklyn Park man implicated in the designer drug death of a Woodbury teenager has pleaded guilty to making the deadly hallucinogen.
John Moltzen, 37, is to be sentenced Nov. 18 for felony possession with intent to sell a highly potent psychedelic drug called 25i-NBOMe, which he sold as LSD. Moltzen pleaded guilty Monday in Hennepin County District Court.
Tara Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old Woodbury High School student, died in January 2014 after taking a dose of the drug that she bought from a classmate. The Washington County investigation led to criminal convictions against two 19-year-old men and three teenagers.
Moltzen was “very likely” the chemist who brewed the fatal dose, Kevin Mueller, a Washington County prosecutor, said Wednesday.
It’s suspected that Moltzen manufactured 25i-NBOMe in a home laboratory, then sold it to Alexander Lee Claussen of St. Cloud, who was 20 when convicted. Claussen, known to authorities as a “heavy pusher” of the drug, was sentenced in 2015 to about six years in prison for killing Fitzgerald.
Washington County investigators found evidence — including thousands of text messages — linking Claussen’s sale of the drug to four other defendants, all Woodbury teenagers. It made its way through a chain of sales to Cole Alexander Matenaer, Sydney Claire Johnson, Alistair Curtis Berg and Brian Phillip Norlander. Norlander finally sold the drug to his friend Fitzgerald.
The Washington County investigation led police to an investigation in Hennepin County. A search of Moltzen’s residence recovered chemicals and about 200 doses of 25i-NBOMe, according to the criminal complaint.
Moltzen told police he had “always taken an interest in psychedelic culture,” the complaint said. He said little in court Monday except to admit evidence against him, the attorney’s office said. He’s expected to get nearly eight years in prison.
Related charges were filed last year against two other suspects, Dominic Beltrante, 42, and Jacob Granger, 38. They allegedly sold drugs with Moltzen, and they are expected to plead guilty in coming weeks, the Hennepin County attorney’s office said Wednesday.