Jacob Avald Howard

On Dec. 10, 2021 Jacob Avald Howard, 28, of Biwabik, was sentenced to 84 months in prison for the murder of a 25-year-old man from Finlayson who overdosed.

In August 2019, the Pine County Sheriff’s Office and East Central Drug and Violent Offenders Task Force (ECDVOTF) began investigating the death of a man from Pine County who had overdosed. Careful analysis of records, investigator interviews and video surveillance lead to the identification of the drug dealer who supplied the victim with the illegal drugs that resulted in his death. This evidence was turned over to the Pine County Attorney’s Office for charging. 

In September 2021, Howard was convicted of murder in the third degree.

Drug overdose fatalities are accelerating in Minnesota. 

This overdose death investigation, subsequent murder conviction and sentencing demonstrates the ECDVOTF’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding our communities, disrupting the flow of drugs into neighborhoods and holding drug dealers accountable for the deaths they cause.

If you have information about any illegal narcotics, gang, or other violent offender activity, please contact the task force at 320-566-4153.

The East Central Drug and Violent Offenders Task Force was established in 2012 and is comprised of criminal investigators from Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec and Pine Counties, serving approximately 142,664 residents across 2,839 square miles. The purpose of the task force is to improve the health, safety and security of our communities through targeted enforcement of dangerous criminal activity. Task force efforts focus primarily on drug trafficking, smuggling and distribution networks, interdiction of illicit drugs and contraband, criminal gang activity and other violent crime.

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