A San Jose drug dealer has been arrested and charged with felony drug sales to minors after a group of Los Gatos High School students overdosed on fentanyl-laced pills police say they bought from him.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reported that the growing student clientele of Simon Armendariz, 23, was so aware of the deadly risk of the toxic pill that they often carried Narcan in case they overdosed.
The defendant used monikers such as “Risky” and “Madman” to sell the drugs to 15-year-olds in various locations throughout downtown Los Gatos, including the parking lot of Los Gatos High School or a nearby church.
Armendariz was arraigned this afternoon in the Hall of Justice, in San Jose. If convicted, he faces prison time.
“This is not a war on drugs, this is a struggle to save lives,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “There are no good excuses with fentanyl. It kills and everybody knows it: the dealers, the manufacturers. We will find them, arrest them, and hold them accountable for selling poison for profit. I want to thank the Santa Clara Police Department, the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, and the investigators from my Office for their continued work in addressing the fentanyl epidemic.”
The investigation began when the Santa Clara Police Department responded to a report that a 15-year-old girl had overdosed in the bathroom during a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. The pill she overdosed on – a counterfeit Percocet pill laced with fentanyl – was traced by police back to Armendariz.
Santa Clara police, county detectives and DA investigators then traced the drugs to several other students, one of whom would get the $10 pills delivered from the dealer at school before first period or at a nearby church parking lot.
He urged his teenaged buyers to share his contact information to build up his customer list.
The additional investigation led to more charges filed by the DA’s Office.