MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Hennepin County prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis man with third-degree murder for allegedly supplying heroin laced with carfentanil to someone who later died of an overdose, part of a nationwide push to fight the opioid epidemic by handing out tougher charges and sentences to dealers who authorities see as equal in measure to other homicide suspects.
“Every single one of these opioid-related homicide deaths we look at like a homicide investigation," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "We touch all the angles from A through Z.”
Latese Hudson, 51, has a history of felony charges and is awaiting trial for a separate shooting incident. According to court documents he's allegedly sold several bad batches of heroin laced with the incredibly potent opioid carfentanil, a drug that can run more than 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.
Though he couldn't discuss the specifics of the case, Stanek said investigators are always looking for ways to bring down major drug dealers. This case is no different.
"Once you get addicted you keep going and going and going and that does no one any good," he said. "Except the person who is selling it and making a profit out of it.”
The criminal complaint also outlines a text message exchange that reportedly occurred between Hudson and another man after someone had died using drugs he had allegedly supplied.
"I think BLACK IS DEAD BRO," Hudson allegedly wrote. "DONT WANNA TALK OR TEXT OVA DA FONE BRO [sic]."
According to several witnesses who told police they've purchased drugs from Hudson in the past, bad batches cut with other, possibly more dangerous substances were not out of the ordinary. It's a pattern of behavior authorities say they're hoping to eliminate with new charging practices.
“This is one of many cases we’ve had where we adamantly charge the provider of the illegal narcotics, or legal narcotics in some cases, but to a great extent with third-degree manslaughter,” Stanek said.