Teen Couple Charged With Murder In Overdose Case

By Kelly Burch 02/27/17

The fentanyl-laced oxycodone involved in the case were purchased on the dark web. 

Image: 
A drug deal.

A teenage couple in Minnesota has been charged with third-degree murder for dropping off the fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills that killed their friend. 

Alexander Menne, 18, and Morgan Johnson, 17, were charged in connection with the death of Cameron Johnson, 18, who died after taking the pills, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It is not clear whether Morgan Johnson and Cameron Johnson were related. 

Johnson died on December 12. His girlfriend was with him at the time and tried to revive him, but he was declared dead 30 minutes after the police arrived. The girlfriend, who was not named, said that Johnson obtained the pills from Menne. She said that Menne would order hundreds of pills online and that Johnson would sell them throughout the area. 

The pills that Johnson allegedly overdosed on were given to him as payment for a broken mailbox, which Menne had backed into. 

On the day of his death, Johnson texted a friend about the drugs he had obtained. “I just snorted a tiny line and I am [expletive]-up dude ur gunna be mind blown by this ... it’s awesome and we can make so much ... money off of these,” he said, according to court documents.

After the overdose, Johnson’s girlfriend called Menne and Morgan Johnson to confront them about selling the pills. While Menne said the death was not his fault, Morgan Johnson told the girlfriend “how much I wish I could take it back. I’m sorry.”

Menne remains in jail, with his bail set at $500,000. Because Morgan Johnson is a minor, details about her case are not public. 

Increasingly, authorities are charging people who sell or supply drugs that result in overdose deaths. Last week in Idaho, the legislature introduced a bill that would give second-degree murder charges to anyone who sells heroin that directly or indirectly results in a death. 

"It's becoming a huge, serious problem," said John Gannon, a Democratic state representative. "It's here in Boise and people need to be aware of its dangers.”

Authorities hope that serious charges will deter people from selling drugs that could result in overdose deaths. "The message of this bill is, if you are selling drugs in Idaho - specifically heroin - you need to stop and leave," Gannon said.

Others feel that the punishment is entirely appropriate for the crime. "I don't think it's heavy-handed at all," said James Holtzclaw, a Republican Representative. "That's exactly what the drug pushers are doing - they're selling death, and we should label it as such."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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