Two facing murder charges for role in fatal overdose

James Fairbanks, 64, Beltrami County Jail

Two Bemidji residents are facing third-degree murder charges for their involvement in a fatal overdose in Beltrami County.

According to the criminal complaint, deputies and agents with the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force responded to the 700 block of Maple Ridge Ct. NW on June 29, 2020, on the report of a possible drug overdose.

The victim, identified as “R.R.” was pronounced dead at the scene.

Over the course of the investigation, officials learned that the victim was buying opiates on the streets.

The victim bought one blue pill marked with an “M,” in the  Skyline Village Trailer Park.

A male, identified in court documents as James Fairbanks, said he purchased four of these pills from 43-year-old Becky Stough.

Becky Stough, 43, Beltrami County Jail

On July 1, law enforcement encountered and detained Stough after an undercover purchase of fentanyl.

Stough gave a Mirandized statement and admitted she sold fentanyl pills at that residence.

An autopsy of the victim showed he died due to a fentanyl overdose, and the quartered pill found in R.R.’s bathroom tested positive for fentanyl.

Bail for Stough was set at an unconditional $300,000.

Fairbanks’ unconditional bail was set at $200,000.

Both will make their next court appearance on Aug. 1.

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