Savage, Minnesota – A man from Woodbury, Tino Andre Jones Jr., has been sentenced to 135 months in prison for the third-degree murder of a Savage man due to a drug overdose. This conviction is considered to be a significant victory as murder charges are difficult to secure in drug overdose cases. The successful prosecution was credited to the Savage Police Department, the Dakota County Drug Task Force, and the county attorney’s office. Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar stated that the plea deal reached with Jones is a significant step in holding drug dealers accountable for the consequences of their actions.
The case began in August 2020 when the police found a 33-year-old man dead in his home in Savage. The victim’s phone contained incriminating text messages to a phone number associated with Jones. These messages indicated the sale and delivery of drugs, including a message sent just before the victim’s mother called 911. Further investigation revealed a connection between Jones and the victim through cell phone tower locations and phone toll records. A search of Jones’ home led to the discovery of crushed pills and fentanyl.
The victim’s cause of death was determined to be a mixed toxicity from a drug overdose with ethanol, fentanyl, and oxycodone. These findings were crucial in securing the third-degree murder conviction of Tino Andre Jones Jr.
It is a rare accomplishment to convict a drug dealer for the death of a user, and this case sets a precedent for holding individuals responsible for the harm caused by their drug dealing. The successful prosecution is a testament to the dedication and hard work of law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. This case highlights the importance of collaboration between different agencies in addressing drug-related crimes and their impact on communities.