A drug dealer has pleaded guilty to selling heroin to a 25-year-old Twin Cities woman who quickly fell into a coma and died.
Russell J. Cage, 40, of Minneapolis, admitted in Hennepin County District Court last week to a felony charge of selling drugs, and in exchange a count of third-degree murder was dismissed.
The plea deal calls for Cage to serve a year in the workhouse. A prison term of nearly three years was stayed for five years while he is on supervised probation. During that time, conditions imposed upon him include no use of illicit drugs or alcohol. He also was fined $3,000.
The drug deal leading to this case was made June 30 behind a McDonald’s in the 4400 block of Lyndale Avenue N. in Minneapolis. The woman, Emily P. Briones, of Brooklyn Center, overdosed and died at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on July 4.
A woman with Briones during the drug sale told police that Briones soon starting vomiting in the other woman’s car, became unresponsive and was driven to the hospital.
Briones’ online obituary noted that her survivors included two children.
In mid-December, police set up a sting and had a confidential informant buy heroin from Cage in the parking lot outside the Walmart on Shingle Creek Parkway in Brooklyn Center. After the sale, police moved in and arrested Cage, who had nine baggies with heroin on him.
Cage’s criminal history in Minnesota includes no other violent offenses. He has three drunken-driving charges on his record, two of which were dismissed for guilty pleas to lesser charges.