An Onamia woman, Jessica Jane Miller, 31, has been charged by the Mille Lacs County Attorney’s office for third-degree murder in the selling of fentanyl to a 23-year-old Garrison woman who overdosed and died as a result of the drug sale and use.

According to the criminal complaint:

On November 9, 2019, law enforcement responded to a possible drug overdose in Onamia. Upon arrival, officers located the subject of the call deceased on a bed in the home near drug paraphernalia. Also near the decedent was a baggie containing a controlled substance and a dollar bill containing residue of the substance. The decedent’s phone was on the bed as well, and an investigation into the death followed.

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s office determined the manner of death to be accidental and the cause of death to be “toxic effects of multiple drugs (fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, heroin),” according to the report. Toxicology results indicated that morphine in decedent’s blood was due to heroin use immediately prior to death.

The medical examiner’s report further indicated that fentanyl, a potent pain medication, is commonly disguised as counterfeit heroin, so someone intending to purchase and use heroin may inadvertently also ingest fentanyl. Fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, and heroin, and its breakdown products, have the same toxic effect on the body, which include slow or stopped breathing, dangerously low blood pressure, coma, and death, the criminal complaint stated. Each of the drugs has an additive effect on the other, so using together increases the risk of overdose, the report stated.

Evidence was recovered from decedent’s phone revealing a text message conversation on or about November 8, 2019, that culminated in decedent purchasing heroin outside her residence that evening. The phone number with which the decedent was communicating with was determined to be Jessica Miller’s.

The third-degree murder charge comes with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and/or a $40,000 fine.

Miller has a long history of criminal charges stemming back to 2007 with a number of traffic citations, including fleeing a peace officer. Other subsequent charges and convictions include disorderly conduct, theft, underage drinking, marijuana possession, fraud, giving a false name to law enforcement, and more recently fifth-degree drug possession.

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