Teen faces new charges in Woodbury girl’s fatal overdose
ST. CLOUD — The St. Cloud teen accused of supplying a lethal dose of synthetic acid that killed a Woodbury girl now faces new charges.
Alexander Lee Claussen, 19, was charged by the Stearns County Attorney’s Office this month with first-degree drug possession with intent to sell and fourth-degree sale of drugs — both felonies.
In May, Claussen and four other teens were charged with murder by the Washington County Attorney’s Office in connection with the January overdose death of Tara Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald, 17, reportedly ingested what she believed was LSD the night before she was found unresponsive in her Woodbury home, according to a criminal complaint.
The substance turned out to be a synthetic drug called 25i-NBOMe, according to a toxicology analysis by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Investigators traced the drug’s chain of custody and charged everyone believed to have had a role in passing it on; Claussen was believed to be the source. Also charged were Cole Alexander Matenaer, 19, of Woodbury, as well as three teenagers who were Woodbury High School students at the time: Sydney Claire Johnson, 18; Alistair Curtis Berg, 17; and Brian Phillip Norlander, 18.
In April, investigators set up a fake drug purchase with Claussen, in which a buyer received five doses of a controlled substance, according to a criminal complaint. A search of Claussen’s vehicle turned up 305 doses of the synthetic acid that was linked to Fitzgerald’s death.
The first-degree drug possession charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or a $1 million fine; the lesser charge carries a 15-year sentence and/or a $100,000 fine.
Claussen is scheduled for a first appearance in Stearns County District Court on Sept. 22.
A pretrial hearing in Washington County is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Matenaer pleaded guilty this month and is slated to be sentenced in October.
Prosecutors are seeking to have Johnson, Norlander and Berg certified as adults (they were all 17 when charged). Each has an upcoming certification hearing.
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