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Man pleads guilty in heroin overdose case

Mathias Turbes

A plea agreement has been reached in the case of a 28-year-old Alexandria man who was accused of supplying heroin that resulted in an overdose that nearly killed a woman in Fergus Falls.

Mathias John Turbes III entered a guilty plea in Douglas County District Court last Thursday, Aug. 3, to a felony third-degree controlled substance crime — heroin possession in excess of 3 grams, which is about three-tenths of an ounce. In exchange, another felony charge was dismissed — causing great bodily harm by distributing drugs.

Turbes is expected to serve a 39-month prison sentence, according to Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson. He requested to go to prison immediately, rather than stay at the Douglas County Jail until his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Turbes also was charged with two other felonies — second-degree controlled substance for possessing more than 6 grams of heroin, and second-degree controlled substance for selling narcotics in a school zone.

On June 11, 2016, the Fergus Falls Police Department and Ringdahl Ambulance responded to a reported heroin overdose on Oak Street.

A 19-year-old woman was found unconscious and not breathing. She was subsequently revived by responders using CPR and other life-saving procedures. She was then taken to Lake Region Healthcare for recovery.

The West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force worked with the Fergus Falls Police Department in the overdose investigation, which led to the execution of multiple search warrants and arrests in Fergus Falls.

During the investigation, authorities determined that the heroin that caused the overdose was purchased from Turbes at his residence on Lark Street in Alexandria.

On June 23, 2016, the Alexandria Police Department assisted the task force in executing a search warrant at the Lark Street residence.

The search resulted in the seizure of a felony amount of heroin, drug paraphernalia and items relating to the sale of narcotics. Turbes was taken into custody.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted in the investigation and search warrant.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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