On Thursday, July 22, 2021, a deputy with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office arrested 51 year old, Erik Nielsen from St. Paul, MN for a felony Anoka County warrant. The deputy encountered Mr. Nielsen during a traffic stop. The deputy arrested and transported Mr. Nielsen to the Chisago County Jail for this warrant without incident. Shortly after arriving at the jail, Mr. Nielsen experienced a medical emergency and became unresponsive. Personnel with Lakes Region EMS ambulance service were summoned to the jail.
Despite lifesaving efforts by jail personnel and EMS, Mr. Nielsen was pronounced dead within the intake area of the jail. Special agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) were requested to assist with the death investigation. An autopsy completed by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office determined Mr. Nielsen’s cause of death to be methamphetamine toxicity, commonly referred to as a drug overdose.
Through investigative efforts by criminal investigators with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, 37 year old, John Hofer from Scandia, MN was identified as the person supplying the fatal methamphetamine to Mr. Nielsen. On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the State charged Mr. Hofer with one felony count of murder in the third degree. Patrol deputies with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office subsequently located and arrested Mr. Hofer without incident during the early morning hours on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. This is an active and ongoing investigation.
Sergeant Ryan Edmonds
Chisago County Sheriff’s Office