A longtime felon received a term topping eight years for selling the heroin that killed a 27-year-old Edina man who had gotten himself clean only to turn to drugs again.
Anthony West, 44, was sentenced in Hennepin County District Court last week to 8 ¾ years in connection with the death of Andrew J. Rau in February 2017. With credit for time in jail, West will serve roughly the first 4 ½ years of his sentence in prison and the balance on supervised release.
West pleaded guilty last month to first-degree drug sale and had a third-degree murder charge dismissed.
In court during sentencing, a victim advocate read a statement from Rau’s father, which said, “[Andrew] was sober for a few years, had a good job and a girlfriend. ... We realize the element of Andrew’s choice in all of this. However, if there were no dealers, there would be no choice.”
On Feb. 25, 2017, police went to an Edina home and found Rau dead in his bedroom. The medical examiner determined he died from fentanyl toxicity.
A friend of Rau’s told police that the two of them went looking for heroin the evening before. They met with her dealer, West, and she bought the heroin. She and the victim immediately injected themselves with the drug and parted company about 11:30 p.m., the charges against West read.
During their investigation, police learned that West was routinely bringing heroin into Minnesota from Chicago.
West also pleaded guilty and was sentenced on one count of attempted promotion of prostitution, for which he received a 90-month sentence to be served concurrently with the drug conviction.
West was found guilty of rape in 2005 in Hennepin County, according to court records. He also was convicted of assault, theft and obscenity involving a minor in connection with the rape case.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482