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Oakdale, Minn., woman charged with murder stemming from methadone overdose

Washington County prosecutors on Wednesday charged an Oakdale woman with murder in connection with the overdose death of a Scandia, Minn., man.

The woman, 21-year-old Emily Katherine Frye, is charged with one count of third-degree murder.

She is accused of selling Frank Eck, a 23-year-old Scandia man, methadone. Eck died Aug. 1 of what a medical examiner ruled "acute methadone toxicity."

"We have a rash of overdose deaths, not just in Washington County, but all through the metro area in the last year and a half," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said through a news release. "People need to be aware that providing another person with a controlled substance can make them responsible for whatever may happen to the person receiving that drug, including the death of that person."

A criminal complaint alleges Eck, spending time at his mother's house while away from the Minnesota National Guard, arranged a drug deal with Frye in Oakdale, where he bought 23 methadone pills.

A friend met up with a vomiting Eck afterward and took him to his mother's house, where he was later found dead by his brother.

The complaint states a witness informed Frye that Eck had died, prompting her to "freak out" and say, "I knew I shouldn't have sold him those methadone."

Orput said his office is "bound and determined to go after bona fide drug dealers."

"The victim in this case had an addiction problem and was vulnerable as a result," he said. "the blame for his death, however, lies squarely at the feet of the drug dealer, and that is where our attention will be focused."

Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for Frye to receive 10 to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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