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Prison for drug dealer who sold deadly dose to Edina man

December 6, 2018

A longtime felon received a term topping eight years for selling the drug that killed a 27-year-old Edina man who had gotten himself clean only to succumb anew to addiction.

Anthony West, 44, was sentenced in Hennepin County District Court last week to 8¾ 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 4½ 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 charged 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. Abuse of the powerful synthetic opioid has surged and claimed a growing number of lives in Minnesota and elsewhere.

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 they 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.

A rape in 2005 in Hennepin County is among several other offenses he has committed in Minnesota, according to court records. He has also been convicted of assault, theft and obscenity involving a minor in connection with the rape case.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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