Prosecutors on Thursday filed a murder charge against a Minneapolis man suspected of being a prolific drug dealer whose heroin killed a Hopkins man a year ago.
The County Attorney’s Office charged 31-year-old Devon McFerrin with third-degree murder, a charge in which the selling of drugs results in someone’s death.
The charge stems from a death investigation that began Feb. 20, 2012, at a Lake Street Northeast home in Hopkins, Officer Erik Husevold wrote in the criminal complaint. Officers tried to revive the unidentified man but were unable to do so.
(Details about the victim were not immediately available. Hopkins police plan to release a statement about the case. Patch will have more information as it becomes available.)
The person who reported the death said that a few hours before officers arrived, the victim had used heroin purchased from a dealer named “Church” at the Pennwood Market in Minneapolis.
On the dresser, Hennepin County Crime Lab technicians found a tin with a torn-off baggie that had heroin inside. Officers also found:
- Two syringes,
- Two metal spoons with heroin residue,
- Two glass pipes with suspected methamphetamine residue and
- Two 2-inch-by-2-inch baggies with suspected methamphetamine residue.
In the course of the investigation, Husevold learned that there was a “prolific heroin dealer” nicknamed “Church” and later learned that Devon McFerrin was the dealer’s real name, according to court documents.
Husevold spoke to two people who said they’d previously bought heroin from McFerrin, and one of the sources admitted giving the murder victim McFerrin’s phone number in order for the victim to buy heroin.
Video surveillance of Pennwood Market on the night of the victim’s death showed the victim approaching a vehicle with two people and “conduct[ing] a hand to hand transaction with the front passenger” that Husevold concluded was a drug transaction.
The vehicle’s license plate was registered to McFerrin’s girlfriend.
A DNA analysis of the baggie tear-offs found that the predominant male DNA profile matched McFerrin’s profile.
McFerrin told police that he was the front passenger in the video surveillance and that his nickname is “Church.”
A warrant has been issued for McFerrin’s arrest. His current location is not known, according to a Police Department news release. Police encourage anyone with information on his location to call 911.
If he’s convicted, he could be sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison and fined up to $40,000.