Beddow died due to an “elevated level of fentanyl,” according to records kept by the Minnesota Department of Health. Investigators determined Beddow received the fentanyl from a now-defunct web operation called PlantFoodUSA.net.
Authorities say Aaron Broussard used that website as a way to sell and distribute illegal drugs. He is charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.
Broussard was arrested in Minnesota last December but has since been extradited to Pennsylvania. He faces up to life in prison.
Professor Dr. Jason Beddow, who died in April 2016 from a fentanyl overdose.
Courtesy University of Minnesota
Courtesy of family
“As of now, we are reviewing the evidence with the focus of building a defense strategy to present to the jury,” said Bernie Brown, Broussard’s attorney. “There are certainly questions of fact contained in the evidence we have been provided that we would like to explore further before making any final decision on a potential resolution in this matter.”
Broussard is accused of intentionally or recklessly distributing lethal doses to customers who “died … within minutes after ingesting the drugs,” according to court documents.
Thomas Hellenhorst, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, said “one can hardly imagine a more serious drug crime.” Authorities say that Beddow and the nine other victims across the country had ordered less dangerous drugs but received fentanyl instead.
Fentanyl has been increasingly marketed as other drugs such as heroin or prescription pills, according to the 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment issued last week by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Ken Solek, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s Minnesota office, says the powerful drug is “laced in just about any narcotic you