by April Scheinoha
A Thief River Falls man entered a guilty plea Monday, June 18 for his role in the Feb. 8 drug overdose death of Samuel DeJesus Cabrales, 23, Thief River Falls.
Nathan Charles Mock, 23, pled guilty to a felony charge of third degree controlled substance crime, according to online court documents. He had also initially been charged with felony third degree murder. Sentencing on the drug charge has been set for Monday, Aug. 13.
Three other people have been charged in connection with Cabrales’ death. They include:
• 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
• Robert Louis Bellanger-Fohrenkam, 35, Bemidji, who has been charged with felony offenses of third degree murder and first 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 Feb. 8, 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 she went home 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.
Police linked the suspects to Cabrales’ death through cell phone records. A man also contacted investigators, saying that he learned Zimmerman had sold Cabrales the heroin.
Bellanger-Fohrenkam is accused of supplying the heroin mixture to Baker. Baker then allegedly gave the mixture to Mock a night before Cabrales’ death. He then 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.
A search warrant found Walmart money transfers in Baker’s home. The money transfers listed her name and Bellanger-Fohrenkam’s name.
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 Feb. 5 with the purchase occurring two days later.
Police also seized Zimmerman’s cell phone, which allegedly contained 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. He said he facilitated the sale of the heroin mixture between Cabrales and Mock.
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 Bellanger-Fohrenkam’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.
Baker later worked with authorities to purchase drugs from her supplier, Bellanger-Fohrenkam. He was arrested Feb. 12 after selling $500 worth of meth to Baker. At that time, they discussed the heroin mixture. Law enforcement recorded the exchange and heard him tell Baker how to make the heroin mixture less potent and how to test the product.
Bellanger-Fohrenkam allegedly admitted selling meth and heroin to Baker a day before Cabrales died from the overdose, according to the complaint.