Murder charges related to heroin overdose


Two men were charged with third-degree murder in the death of man who died of a heroin overdose, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Maple Grove Police Chief Eric Werner announced Wednesday.

Anthony Allyn Simons, 22, of Brooklyn Park and James Marione Butchee, 29, of Minneapolis were charged in the death of a 22-year-old Maple Grove man last summer, Freeman and Werner announced at a news conference.

Charging the people who provide the drugs that kill someone is a continuing initiative of the county attorney’s office which began about three years ago.

“We are aggressively prosecuting,” Freeman said. “We want to send a statement.”

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told two of his friends, one of whom was Simons, that he wanted to “be numb” the night of July 11. The trio drove to a restaurant on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood and once there, Simons made a call, left the car and returned with a baggie with heroin.

They returned to the victim’s home in Maple Grove, went to the basement where he injected the drug. He started to act very bizarre and Simons left, telling the other friend to watch the victim and make sure he did not take any more drugs. When the second friend left about 11:45 p.m., he was still alive, but he was dead the next morning, the complaint states.

Simons told police he bought the drugs from “C,” a person he knew well. Police confirmed the cell phone call from Simons to “C” and later did an undercover buy from “C” and identified him as Butchee, the complaint states.

At the news conference, Freeman and Werner noted that the investigation included members of the Anoka Hennepin Drug Task Force, including from the Anoka and Hennepin County Sheriff’s offices as well as Maple Grove police.

Freeman also praised the education and prevention efforts of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and others in law enforcement to try to fight drug use in Hennepin County.

Read the criminal complaints: