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Five charged in Woodbury girl's overdose death

Two adults and three juveniles have been charged with third degree murder in connection to the drug-related death of a 17-year-old Woodbury girl.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced today that Alexander Lee Clausen, 19; Cole Alexander Matenaer, 19; Sydney Claire Johnson, 17; Alistair Curtis Berg, 17; and Brian Phillip Norlander, 17; were charged in the case.

According to the criminal complaint, Woodbury Police responded to a report of an unresponsive female on Commonwealth Avenue at 9:10 a.m. on January 11.

Initial reports indicated the female and a friend had ingested a substance similar to acid or LSD. The 17-year-old female was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The Woodbury Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation which revealed the 17-year-old victim ingested a synthetic drug identified as 25i-NBOMe, a Schedule I Controlled Substance. The investigation also revealed the drug was passed on amongst the five charged individuals and made its way to the deceased.

The drug was initially sold by Claussen to Matenaer in the fall of 2013, according to the complaint. Thereafter, Matenaer sold the drug to Johnson. Johnson sold the drug to Berg who later sold it to Norlander in late December of 2013. Norlander then sold the drug to the deceased on or about January 4.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death as complications of 25i-NBOMe toxicity, the complaint states.

“When an illegal drug enters our community, all of those involved – those who create it, sell it or give it away – are responsible for what happens with that drug,” Orput said. “We are especially concerned with those individuals who distribute illegal drugs to juveniles. We will prosecute those individuals to the full extent of what the law allows.”

-Riham Feshir