A St. Paul man was sentenced to just over six years in prison on charges stemming from the overdose death of a Cottage Grove man.
Mario Juan Harris, 33, was convicted Jan. 19 of felony first-degree narcotic sale. A third-degree murder charge related to the case, to which Harris pleaded not guilty earlier this year, was dismissed.
A warrant for Harris' arrest was filed Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington County.
According to the criminal complaint:
Cottage Grove police discovered a deceased 27-year-old in a Cottage Grove home while responding to a call June 18, 2012.
Next to the body was a quarter-full bottle of liquid that testing later revealed was methadone.
The label displaying the prescription name had been ripped off, but a label with the patient identification number were associated with a 61-year-old woman.
An autopsy on the body indicated methadone toxicity as the cause of death.
Police discovered texts on the deceased person's phone with Harris in the days before authorities discovered the body.
The text conversation indicated plans for Harris to sell the person methadone.
Harris said during a police interview he had been texting the person, but denied supplying them with methadone.
Police asked Harris to identify another person referenced in the text messages.
Harris provided a description that matched the 61-year-old woman whose name was associated with the bottle of methadone.
The woman told police during an interview that Harris had come to her house to sell marijuana and asked for some "juice," referring to the liquid methadone. She said she agreed to trade the methadone for marijuana.
The woman's granddaughter in 2015 confirmed Harris had come to their home and received the bottle of methadone.