A third suspect has been federally charged in relation to a fentanyl overdose death earlier this year in Grand Forks.
Joshua David Soeby, a 38-year-old from Grand Forks, had a U.S. District Court detention hearing Monday after being accused in federal court of supplying fentanyl to 27-year-old Max Johnson of Walhalla, N.D. Johnson was found dead Jan. 17 at a residence in Grand Forks, and investigators determined a fentanyl patch linked to Soeby, his sister-in-law Kelly Jo Nelsrud, 40, and his wife, Holly Dawn Soeby, 37, caused Johnson’s death.
The two sisters from Grand Forks face the same federal charge as Joshua Soeby: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death. Joshua Soeby was indicted June 20, and the case wasn’t unsealed until Friday.
Federal court documents refer to Johnson as M.J., but charging documents filed against the three suspects in Grand Forks District Court detail how Johnson may have purchased the patch from Joshua Soeby.
Investigators first arrested Holly Soeby, who said she got the patch from her sister, according to court documents. Nelsrud denied the allegations, saying her sister stole the patch, charging documents said.
“Numerous” fentanyl patches were found at Nelsrud’s home at 1808 N. Fourth St., officers said in the charging documents.
The sisters are expected to plead guilty July 26 in federal court. They could face life in prison but plea agreements filed in May call for the possibility of a lesser sentence. The minimum sentence is 20 years in prison.
The cases for all three defendants in Grand Forks District Court remain open. They all face a Class B felony of conspiracy to deliver fentanyl.
All three have a final dispositional hearing July 19 in Grand Forks District Court, and Joshua Soeby’s federal jury trial has been set for Aug. 7.