Three people charged with murder in drug overdose death

Nicole Lee Baker

by April Scheinoha

    Three Thief River Falls residents have been charged with murder for their alleged role in the drug overdose death of Samuel DeJesus Cabrales, 23, Thief River Falls. Cabrales died Thursday, Feb. 8.
    They included:
    • Nicole Lee Baker, 30, who has been charged with felony offenses of third degree murder, third degree controlled substance crime (two counts) and fifth degree controlled substance crime
    • Nathan Charles Mock, 22, who has been charged with felony offenses of third degree murder and third degree controlled substance crime
    • Aaron Daniel Zimmerman, 40, who has been charged with felony offenses of third degree murder and third degree controlled substance crime
    The charges stemmed from a 911 call Thursday, Feb. 8 at about 10:12 a.m., according to the complaint. Cabrales’ fiancee believed he had overdosed on heroin at their home, 1103 Meadow Street. Police and an ambulance crew attempted to revive Cabrales, but he died at the scene.
    While investigating, police allegedly found a hypodermic needle near Cabrales. They also found a gram-type plastic bag containing a residue believed to be a mixture containing heroin. Later, a test showed the presence of a type of fentanyl.
    Cabrales’ fiancee told police that Cabrales was trying to quit his heroin addiction. Earlier, she had left the home and Cabrales planned to make breakfast and get their kids ready for school. She returned to check on Cabrales, finding him lying on his side in the bathroom A hypodermic needle was near him.
    Besides the hypodermic needle and bag, a Pine to Prairie Task Force member collected a small amount of powder from a bathroom countertop, a credit card, $22 in cash and a Q-tip. Cabrales possessed a cell phone, which was also seized.
    Police linked the three suspects to Cabrales’ death through cell phone records. A man also contacted investigators, saying that he learned Zimmerman had sold Cabrales the heroin.
    Baker is accused of supplying the heroin mixture to Mock a night before Cabrales’ death. Mock then allegedly gave the heroin mixture to Zimmerman, who provided an electronic tablet as collateral. Zimmerman allegedly sold the heroin mixture to Cabrales for $50. Zimmerman then gave the $50 to Mock, who returned Zimmerman’s electronic tablet. Mock then brought the money to Baker’s home.
    The police investigator downloaded information from Cabrales’ cell phone and reviewed Facebook messages between Cabrales and Zimmerman. At the time, Zimmerman was on probation for a controlled substance crime. The messages dated back to Monday, Feb. 5 with the purchase occurring two days later.
    Upon seeing the messages, police found Zimmerman at his home, 930 Reserve Ave. Police seized his cell phone, and his probation agent began reviewing messages on the phone.  There were allegedly numerous messages between Zimmerman and others talking about drugs and drug transactions.
    When he learned Cabrales had possibly died from a drug overdose, Zimmerman said Cabrales had sought heroin from him a night earlier. He said he didn’t have any heroin, but he said he could set Cabrales up with someone else. Shortly after that exchange, Zimmerman said Cabrales arrived at his home. Zimmerman allegedly said he facilitated the sale of the heroin mixture between Mock and Cabrales.
    A search warrant was then executed for Zimmerman’s home, where police seized suspected drug paraphernalia and an electronic tablet.
    Police learned Mock was living at 924 Horace Ave. N. They conducted surveillance there, seeing Mock and a woman leaving in a vehicle. They soon stopped the vehicle. Police then confiscated Mock’s cell phone and searched his vehicle with his consent. Inside, they found a plastic gram type bag with a small amount of suspected methamphetamine. A test later revealed a presumptive positive result for meth.
    Mock allegedly told police that he went to Baker’s home Feb. 7. He said they used meth and she asked whether he knew anyone who wanted to buy heroin. Mock said she possessed suspected heroin. He contacted others, eventually communicating with Zimmerman. Mock said Zimmerman wanted to purchase one-tenth of a gram of heroin. He then delivered the heroin substance to Zimmerman, believing Zimmerman was selling it to someone else. Zimmerman gave him an electronic tablet as collateral until he could sell the heroin mixture and receive payment. Later, Zimmerman gave $50 to Mock for the substance. Police corroborated Mock’s statement through messages between the two men. An electronic tablet had earlier been seized at Zimmerman’s home.
    Law enforcement soon conducted a search warrant at Baker’s home, 623 Horace Ave. N. Inside a safe, they found 4.9 grams of suspected meth and 4 grams of suspected heroin. The latter substance tested positive for fentanyl and was similar to the substance found at Cabrales’ home. The safe also contained:
    • A plastic gram type baggie containing 15 prescription pills, later identified as Clonazepam,
    • Walmart receipts for money transfers totalling $3,450. The transfers listed Baker’s name and a man’s name.
    • $1,000 in cash
    • A pellet gun pistol
    • A large hunting knife
    • Various drug paraphernalia
    • Credit cards featuring Baker’s name
    Baker told police that she, Mock and another man went to Bemidji on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 7. She allegedly said she obtained meth and heroin. Baker said she used some of the heroin and Mock tried to sell some of the heroin to his friends.
    Baker said she later gave Mock one-tenth of a gram of heroin. He then brought the heroin to someone, who provided him with an electronic tablet for collateral. Later, Mock returned with $50.
    Upon learning someone had possibly died from the heroin she was selling, Baker became “extremely emotional.” She said she knew it was a strong substance, saying she had done a “dusting” of heroin that same morning and awoke to three friends reviving her.