Shelton Foster.jpg

Shelton Foster

A 43-year-old Ramsey man is charged with murder relating to an overdose death last year.

Shelton Gerrod Foster faces one felony count of third-degree murder.

On June 22, 2019, Anoka police were dispatched to Main Street Square at 224 E. Main Street in Anoka on reports of an unresponsive man, according to the criminal complaint.

Upon arrival officers had to force their way into a bathroom stall and found the body of a man who was not breathing and had no pulse. He was pronounced dead at 3:18 p.m.

Officers found a paper bindle in the victim’s wallet that forensic testing confirmed contained 0.5 grams of a substance containing fentanyl and cocaine. The medical examiner found a fresh injection site on the victim’s right arm and listed the cause of death as toxic effects of fentanyl, according to the complaint.

The owner of a store in Main Street Square told detectives he noticed someone in the stall not using it “for normal purposes,” according to the complaint. He returned approximately an hour later and the situation had not changed.

Officers contacted the victim’s mother, who told them he had stayed with her overnight June 21, 2019, and she had dropped him off at the commuter rail station in Anoka, according to the complaint. There she reportedly saw the victim enter a black SUV around noon.

A search of the victim’s cellphone confirmed messages with another phone indicating he intended to meet the owner. Surveillance footage showed the victim exit the SUV at a CVS pharmacy on Main Street and return to it after withdrawing $80 from the ATM, which is the common street value of a gram of heroin, according to the complaint.

Surveillance footage showed the victim walking toward the Main Street Square alone around 1:30 p.m. the day he died, the charges say.

Over the summer of 2019 investigations by police indicated Foster was one of multiple individuals allegedly associated with the cellphone number the victim was in contact with.

On March 16, 2020, detectives with the Anoka Hennepin Drug Task Force received a request from the Ramsey County Violent Crime Enforcement Team involving an overdose victim who allegedly purchased heroin from Foster.

Over two months of surveillance detectives reportedly observed Foster meet multiple people in parking lots for suspected drug sales. Officers also conducted three controlled purchases using a confidential informant, according to the complaint.

The three controlled purchases were allegedly arranged with the phone number matching the one the victim had contacted before his death. The informant purchased a total of 3.8 grams of heroin over the three incidents, according to the complaint.

Foster was charged with second-degree controlled substance crime and was stopped by police April 29 in Ramsey. During that stop officers allegedly seized 0.4 grams of heroin from his vehicle.

Foster is scheduled for his initial court appearance May 20. As of press time he was in the Anoka County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Foster has two previous drug-related felony convictions, according to public record.

connor.cummiskey@apgecm.com

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