An Eagle Lake man is facing felony drug charges after police say a friend in Northfield found him passed out on his kitchen floor and feared that he had overdosed on heroin.
John Stephen Bense, 42, is charged with two counts of fifth-degree drug possession, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court, a Northfield man who lives in the 200 block of Greenvale Avenue called police just before 8 a.m. Oct. 21 and reported that Bense, who was staying in his apartment overnight, might have overdosed on heroin.
The man told police that he found Bense—who is in treatment for heroin use—lumped over on the kitchen table, with syringes and a spoon on the table in front of him. When he was unable to awaken Bense, the man said, he slapped him “really hard” on the back, and he rolled onto the kitchen floor.
Bense was breathing but unconscious. The man said Bense’s body would periodically tremble, and that his legs were folded beneath him.
Police collected Bense’s belongings, which included $318 in cash, 12 individual bags of a substance that tested positive for marijuana, eight syringes and a spoon containing residue that tested positive for heroin, according to the complaint.
Bense also had a black camera bag that held four syringes, two torn plastic bags containing residue and a black fabric belt. Police said the bag appeared to be a “heroin kit.”
Bense was taken to a hospital, where a nurse found a syringe and a pill bottle containing heroin in his pants pocket and turned them over to police, the complaint says.
Bense was arrested after he was discharged from the hospital and was taken to a detox facility.
His criminal record includes five previous drug-related convictions, the most recent in July in Waseca County.
Bense remains in the Rice County Jail. He was scheduled to make a first appearance on the charges Oct. 24 in Rice County District Court.