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Three charged with murder in Thief River Falls overdose death

THIEF RIVER FALLS—Three Thief River Falls residents face murder and drug charges in connection to an overdose death.

Aaron Daniel Zimmerman, 40, Nathan Charles Mock, 22, and Nicole Lee Baker, 30, had initial appearance hearings Monday in Pennington County District Court, where they were charged with one count each of third-degree murder and a third-degree controlled substance crime. Baker also was charged with a second third-degree controlled substance crime, as well as a fifth-degree controlled substance crime.

The three were arrested in connection to the death of 23-year-old Samuel Dejesus Cabrales. Medical staff and police responded at 10:12 a.m. Thursday to a Thief River Falls residence on Meadow Street, where they found Cabrales unresponsive, according to charging documents. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers found a needle and a bag of heroin mixture at the scene, which they traced back to Zimmerman, according to court documents. Cabrales had exchanged Facebook messages with Zimmerman, the documents state.

Zimmerman told officers he facilitated the sale between Cabrales and Mock, according to the report. Mock said Baker asked him if anyone wanted heroin.

Baker said during an interview with police she drove Wednesday to Bemidji with Mock and "a man identified as Mikelalen Heaton" to pick up heroin and meth before driving back to Thief River Falls, according to court documents. She appeared extremely upset after learning someone had died from a possible overdose, the documents stated.

"Baker said she knew it was some really strong stuff because earlier that same morning Baker had did just a little bit and had woken up to three of her friends reviving her in the bathroom," the court documents state, adding she had done "just a 'dusting of it.'"

Zimmerman was arrested with drug paraphernalia at his residence at 930 Reserve Ave., according to court documents. Officers said they found meth at Mock's 924 Horace Ave. N. home, but he was arrested during a traffic stop. Officers said they found drug paraphernalia, a baggie of Clonazepam, 4 grams of fentanyl-heroin mix and almost 5 grams of meth at Baker's 623 Horace Ave. N. residence, according to the documents.

The three have a history of drug charges in Minnesota.

The matter remains under investigation. Heaton hadn't been charged in the case as of Monday.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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