Drug dealer sentenced in overdose death


A Minneapolis man was sentenced to 100 months in prison for selling the drugs that killed 27-year-old Andrew J. Rau of Edina, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Anthony West, 44, pleaded guilty on Nov. 19 to first-degree sale of heroin, 10 grams or more, and was sentenced on Friday to more than eight years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 25, 2017 police went to an Edina home and found Rau dead in his bedroom. The medical examiner determined he died from fentanyl toxicity.

A friend of the victim’s told police that the two of them went looking for heroin the evening of Feb. 24. They met with her dealer, West, and she bought the heroin. She and the victim immediately injected themselves with the drug and they parted company about 11:30 p.m., the complaint states. Cell phone records indicate the victim went back to his Edina home and did not leave. During the investigation, police learned that West was routinely bringing heroin into Minnesota from Chicago.

In court last Friday, a victim advocate read an impact statement from Rau’s father in which he said “He [Andrew] was sober for a few years, had a good job and a girlfriend… We realize the element of Andrew’s choice in all of this. However, if there were no dealers there would be no choice. We are glad Mr. West is off the streets, but… it doesn’t bring Andrew back.”

West also pleaded guilty and was sentenced on one count of attempted promotion of prostitution, for which he received a 90-month sentence to be served concurrently with the drug conviction.