MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Police arrested the brother of former NHL strongman Derek Boogaard as a result of their investigation into how Boogaard obtained the prescription painkiller that contributed to his fatal overdose in May, a police official said Friday.
Aaron Boogaard, 24, was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing a controlled prescription drug. Prosecutors had until noon Friday to formally charge him, which appeared likely after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. to discuss the case.
Derek Boogaard was found dead in his home May 13. The medical examiner determined he died of a toxic mix of alcohol and the narcotic oxycodone. Aaron Boogaard was with his brother hours before he died and it was he who found his brother’s body.
Huffman declined to specify which drug Aaron Boogaard allegedly possessed, but she said the Hennepin County attorney’s office would disclose further details about Aaron Boogaard’s arrest later Friday.
“It’s not a complicated set of circumstances,” she said.
Derek Boogaard, 28, struggled with addiction issues during his career, his family has said.
The brothers’ parents, Len and Joanne Boogaard of Regina, Saskatchewan, did not respond to messages from The Associated Press. The family issued a statement calling the charges 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 Nicholas 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.”
Aaron Boogaard’s attorney, John Lundquist, declined to comment Friday morning pending charges.
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 he lacked in skill and goal-scoring capability he more than made up for with his fists. He was one of the most feared fighters in the game 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.