Guilty plea entered in Apple Valley freon-huffing case

An Apple Valley man accused of inhaling freon from his neighbors’ air-conditioning units to get high pleaded guilty to a felony charge April 24 in district court.

Brentyn E. Krueger, 37, was charged last fall with felony theft because the freon he reportedly inhaled cost nearly $1,800 to replace.

Apple Valley police were alerted to the problem in November 2010 when a resident in the area of Floral Avenue and 129th Street reported a trespasser.

According to the criminal complaint, responding officers found Krueger lodged between the AC unit and the house, unresponsive and apparently unconscious.  When he came to, Krueger admitted to police he’d been inhaling freon from the AC.

The following evening, police received another report of trespassing in that neighborhood. Krueger was again present when police arrived, and he explained that, this time, after inhaling freon he became confused and walked into the neighbor’s house, the complaint said.

A total of five residents reported loss of freon from their AC units.

Krueger was hospitalized on at least two occasions after huffing freon, according to the complaint.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists freon among commonly abused inhalants, and advises that inhaling freon can cause liver damage, respiratory obstruction and death.

Krueger’s sentencing is scheduled for June 22. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.