A 26-year-old Albert Lea man has been charged in Dakota County with third-degree murder, accused of selling methadone pills that led to another man’s fatal overdose in a South St. Paul hotel room.
Authorities filed an arrest warrant Wednesday for Dustin Charles Chenevert. According to the criminal complaint, Colton Jayce Poplow, 18, of Albert Lea, died from a methadone overdose Feb. 28 while visiting South St. Paul for the weekend with his father and a friend.
Investigators learned in an interview with the friend that Poplow bought five Dilaudid pills and at least six methadone pills from a man who went by “Dusto Busto” — later identified as Chenevert. The friend told police Poplow consumed two pills the evening before his death, out of fear police were doing door-to-door drug checks at the hotel, the complaint said.
After identifying Chenevert, police searched the Albert Lea home in which he lived with his mother, who has prescriptions for both Dilaudid and methadone. She told police she discovered 150 methadone pills were missing months earlier, the complaint said, and investigators found that her recently refilled methadone bottle was missing 74 pills.
“This is another tragic example of the extreme dangers involved in abusing prescription medications,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement Wednesday.
Chenevert 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. Through a search of Chenevert’s phone, investigators discovered 43 different Google searches asking if deleted Facebook messages could be recovered with a subpoena.