MINNEAPOLIS - The brother of former NHL strongman Derek Boogaard was charged Friday with providing the prescription drug that contributed to Boogaard's overdose death in May.
A complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court says 24-year-old Aaron Boogaard gave his brother an Oxycodone pill the day of his death. Derek Boogaard, 28, was found dead in his apartment May 13 of what authorities later ruled was a toxic mix of alcohol and Oxycodone.
The younger Boogaard was charged with unlawful sale of a controlled substance, a felony that also applies in instances when drugs are given away for free. He was also charged with interfering with the scene of a death for allegedly misleading the coroner or concealing evidence.
An attorney for Aaron Boogaard didn't immediately respond to a phone message Friday seeking comment. The county attorney planned an afternoon news conference.
Derek Boogaard, who was one of hockey's most feared enforcers and became a fan favorite for the Minnesota Wild before joining the New York Rangers last summer, struggled with addiction, his family said after his death.
According to the criminal complaint:
Aaron Boogaard told police he had been holding Oxycontin and Percocet pills for his brother. He said he gave his brother a single Oxycodone pill before they went out to several clubs May 12.
Aaron Boogaard said his brother had just been released from chemical dependency treatment the day before. He said he gave his older brother the pill even though he didn't think he was in pain.
"The Defendant said that it appeared (his brother) was celebrating and intended to go on a `binger,"' the complaint said.
The brothers shared an apartment in Minneapolis' Warehouse District, not far from downtown. Aaron Boogaard found his brother's body when he returned home after picking up another brother at the airport. He called 911, then destroyed the remaining Percocet and Oxycontin pills by flushing them down a toilet, according to the complaint.
The brothers' parents, Len and Joanne Boogaard of Regina, Saskatchewan, did not respond to messages from The Associated Press on Thursday or Friday seeking comment. On Thursday, the family issued a statement calling Aaron's arrest unfortunate and painful.
Len Boogaard told the New York Times that Aaron Boogaard was trying to control what his brother was taking.
"We lost Derek, and Aaron ... was the one that found Derek," Len Boogaard told the paper. "So of course he's kicking himself. He was doing what he was doing because he was regulating what Derek was taking. He didn't want what actually has happened to Derek to happen."
Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Minnesota, said the agency has placed a detainer on Aaron Boogaard, meaning that immigration officials planned to take him into custody when he is released from the local jail.
Aaron Boogaard was drafted by the Wild in 2004 but never played with them. He has bounced around various lower-level teams and has not appeared in the NHL.
Derek Boogaard, known as "The Boogeyman," was one of the most popular players on the Wild for his rough-and-tumble approach to the game. What 6-foot-7-inch, 265-pound forward lacked in skill and goal-scoring ability, he more than made up for with his fists. He was one of the most feared fighters during his six-year NHL career, racking up 589 penalty minutes in 277 career games. He left the Wild for a four-year deal with the Rangers last July and scored one goal in 22 games before his season was ended by a concussion five months before his death.
Boogaard's family donated his brain to the Boston University School of Medicine, which planned to examine it as part of a broader study of head trauma in athletes for signs of a degenerative disease often found in athletes who sustain repeated hits to the head.