A St. Cloud drug dealer charged with murder in connection with supplying a fentanyl patch to an addict to chew was sentenced to time already served for giving the man the opioid that killed him.
Amy W. Lauer, 36, was sentenced in Stearns County District Court last week to a stayed term of slightly more than seven years and put on probation for 25 years after she pleaded guilty in the April 2016 death of Ryan S. Boen, 33, also of St. Cloud. Boen was one of Lauer’s regular customers.
As part of Lauer’s plea to third-degree murder, Judge Sarah Hennesy gave her credit for the six-plus months she served in jail since her arrest and added several probation requirements. They include staying sober and undergoing chemical dependency treatment.
The county attorney’s office had sought a sentence ranging from 6 to 8½ years, with roughly the first two-thirds of the time being spent in prison. The maximum penalty could have been a 25-year term.
Lauer admitted to law enforcement that she routinely provided illicit controlled substances to numerous people. Investigators searched her phone and discovered that she dealt in such potent prescription medications as Xanax and Percocet, along with fentanyl and others.
Boen’s death from a fentanyl overdose comes amid an epidemic of deaths in Minnesota and elsewhere from the abuse of ill-gotten opioids. There were 35 deaths related to fentanyl in Minnesota 2015, compared with one in 2000, according to state death certificate data.
Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Administered by injection, lozenge or patch to treat severe pain after surgery and to manage chronic pain, the controlled substance is commonly sold illegally and misused by addicts.
Authorities arrived at Boen’s home, where he lived with his mother, and found him dead. His mother said she had driven him home from detox the previous day.
After returning home, Boen immediately called Lauer, and she soon showed up with fentanyl patches at his request. Boen’s mother watched as he chewed one of them. Lauer admitted to providing Boen with fentanyl numerous times.