MANKATO — The former Mankato man suspected of supplying the carfentanil that caused thee overdoses in Northfield won't have a criminal record if he completes probation.
Joshua Ryan Chlan, 21, who now lives in Bloomington, was convicted of felony drug possession with intent to sell Monday in Blue Earth County District Court. The conviction will be dismissed if Chlan stays sober and meets other probation requirements for the next three years.
Chlan reportedly supplied counterfeit oxycodone pills that led to three serious overdoses last winter in Northfield. Two victims were found unconscious Feb. 23 and another victim was found unresponsive Feb. 25, according to court documents. First responders revived them with nalaxone — an opioid antidote.
Remaining pills found with the victims were tested and found to contain carfentanil and cocaine. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Anonymous tipsters and one of the victims told police the pills came from Joshua Edward Tarka, 22, of Northfield. Tarka, who is facing seven felony drug charges in Rice County District Court, told police he got the pills from Chlan and both he and Chlan also overdosed. Chlan reportedly told Tarka he got the counterfeit pills on the darknet.
Chlan was then a student at Minnesota State University and authorities searched his residence in the College Town complex in Mankato. They found 46 blue pills marked as oxycodone similar to the pills involved in the overdoses, according to a court complaint. They also found other suspected drugs, including OxyContin and cocaine.
Chlan spent 20 days in jail after he was arrested. Chlan pleaded guilty to one charge in October. Additional charges, including a more serious drug sales charge, were dropped in a plea deal.
At a sentencing hearing Monday, Chlan's attorney said Chlan was addicted to opioids but he has gotten help. He spent 30 days in inpatient treatment and continues outpatient treatment, attorney Brittney Orin Ackerman said. Chlan did not speak at the hearing.
Judge Krista Jass called Chlan's actions a “serious matter” that caused significant harm to multiple people. Because Chlan has no prior criminal history, the judge said she would approve the sentence recommended by the county probation office and grant a stay of adjudication required by state law.
Chlan was given credit for the 20 days he'd spent in jail and was ordered to to spend three years on probation and pay a $1,000 fine. Probation requirements include he continue treatment and stay sober.
“It looks like you have a strong family support system and other tools and support,” Jass said to Chlan. “ I hope you can use that, along with probation, for your success.”