The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 18, 2014

Boyfriend charged in suspected drug death

He allegedly told police an adult helped but never called 911

By Dan Nienaber
dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

---- — MANKATO — A girl who died after ingesting what investigators suspect was a synthetic form of LSD or cocaine was showing signs of an overdose hours before anyone called for help, according to a complaint charging her boyfriend with selling the drugs to her.

Trace Colton Hafner, 17, of Blue Earth has been charged with one count of third-degree drug sales in Blue Earth County District Court. He is accused of selling a capsule with a white powder to his girlfriend, 17-year-old Chloe Moses of Mankato. Moses died at Minneapolis Children's Hospital on March 10.

Hafner had purchased two capsules filled with a synthetic powder from a 15-year-old Mankato boy more than a week before he and Moses took the drug at her house March 7, according to the complaint filed this week.

It was a Friday night and Chloe's mother, Anna, had just left for work. Hafner had left the house earlier that night. He allegedly told investigators he returned after Anna Moses left. Hafner estimated it was about 10 minutes after he returned that he and Chloe Moses swallowed the capsules, police reported.

It was about an hour after the teens ingested the drugs that Moses "began to 'freak out' and have issues with the 'bad trip,'" the complaint said. At that point Hafner called a mutual friend and told her what was happening. That girl and her grandmother arrived at Moses' house a short time later, Hafner reported.

"He (Hafner) did not know what to do and no one called 911 for help," the complaint said.

Hafner allegedly told police he bought the two capsules for $40 and sold one of them to Moses for $20.

The girl left Moses' house first, but her grandmother stayed until about 4 a.m. March 8, the complaint said. Hafner told investigators he left the house at about 10:30 a.m. March 8, which was before Anna Moses arrived home. Someone called 911 at about 11:08 a.m. that day to report Chloe Moses was having seizures, according to police records. Moses was taken to the hospital in Mankato before being transferred to Minneapolis, where she was taken off life support March 10.

If the other girl's grandmother was at the house, there hasn't been any information provided that would result in charges against her, said Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott. He doesn't know at this point what she knew, if anything, about why Moses was ill. McDermott also said he isn't aware of a criminal charge that can be filed against someone who doesn't seek medical care for a person having a bad reaction to drugs.

Police suspect Moses was the second Mankato person to die as a result of using the powder. Police found a small blue plastic bag with gold crowns on it while investigating Moses' death. They suspect the drug she used had been in the bag.

Another bag that looked exactly like the one at Moses' house was found at the Glenwood Avenue apartment where Louis Folson, 22, lived. He was found dead after someone at his apartment called 911 at about 5:30 p.m. March 5 to report Folson had taken a powder substance and was going into convulsions.

A 30-year-old Mankato man, James Luke Inman, is accused of providing the drug to Folson. Inman allegedly told police he obtained the drug from Tyler Anthony Caputo, 21, and Skylar Jo Reichel-Schneider, 19, both of Mankato. Caputo and Reichel-Schneider also are accused of providing the drug, known as 2C-E or Smiles, to the 15-year-old boy, McDermott said.

The same drug has resulted in deadly reactions for others who have used it, including a teen who used the drug during a party in Blaine in 2011. The man who provided the drug to that person and several others who became ill at the party was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to a murder charge.

Hafner was interviewed by police March 11. The other girl, who is only identified by initials in the complaint, had been interviewed by investigators on March 10, the same day Chloe Moses died. She told them she had stayed with Moses for about 45 minutes to comfort her. Moses was sleeping on the floor when she left and everything seemed normal, she reported. The portion of the complaint describing the girl's interview with investigators on March 10 did not mention her grandmother.

Investigators interviewed that girl after a Mankato West High School police liaison officer received a call from a student's father earlier March 10. The father reported he had found text messages on his son's cellphone that he believed could be related to the investigation into Moses' death.

When that boy was interviewed at his house in North Mankato, he told the liaison officer that he had talked to Moses sometime before police suspect that Hafner and Moses used the drugs. She told him she had obtained a powder drug from the 15-year-old boy identified by Hafner.

The North Mankato boy told the liaison officer he also had received a call from the girl who had been at Moses' house with Hafner. He said she asked him for advice because Moses was having a seizure. The boy also said he knew the 15-year-old boy was selling marijuana and LSD. The portion of the complaint describing the North Mankato boy's interview with police does not mention Hafner nor the other girl's grandmother.

On March 11 police searched the apartment complex where the boy accused of selling the drug to Hafner lives. A container with a crystalline powder substance was found in the boy's closet, the complaint said. Investigators also reported finding small blue bags with gold crowns that looked like the ones found during the death investigations.

Hafner allegedly told investigators he and Moses had used LSD once before. He had obtained the drug from the same boy that time, except it was on a small piece of blotter paper, the complaint said.

Jason Bennett, a Mankato detective, checked Hafner's phone and reported finding text messages between Hafner and the 15-year-old boy. A Feb. 28 message from the boy said, "Yeah but that is going to be $20 each. It is really pure/potent. If you want to do two double doses that would be $40, or I can just do five normal size doses for $50."

Hafner allegedly responded saying, "I'll have the double doses."