San Jose Police on Tuesday arrested a 16-year-old on a murder charge for selling a fentanyl pill to a 12-year-old girl in 2020 that resulted in a fatal overdose.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office said the girl died shortly after consuming three-quarters of a single pill. The girl, who was not identified, was the youngest person to fatally overdose in the county in 2020, the prosecutor’s office said.
The murder suspect faces charges in the Juvenile Court Division of Santa Clara County Superior Court..
“After thousands of deaths, everyone should know that fentanyl is a deadly poison,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a statement. “Thanks to the San Jose Police Department, the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team and our investigators, this child’s tragically short life may help save others.”
A press release from Rosen’s office said that on Nov. 14, 2020, the 12-year-old was with two other teens when she contacted the suspect and bought an “M-30” pill. The group videoed her lining up the crushed pill for ingestion.
“After snorting the fentanyl, she passed out and began snoring, a telltale sign of a fentanyl overdose,” according to press release. Shortly after the teens brought her to the Regional Medical Center in San Jose, she was declared dead.
Police said that in the suspect’s Google Photos account, there were screen shots of public service warnings over fentanyl overdoses. The PSAs predated the girl’s death.
This is the second time the District Attorney’s Office has charged a drug dealer with murder after a fatal overdose. A San Jose man is facing a murder charge after selling a fatal opioid over Snapchat to a Santa Clara 18-year-old, also in 2020.
Fentanyl is approximately 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine. Just a few grains can cause a fatal overdose. Illicit fentanyl is sometimes pressed into pills made to look like other prescription pills (like oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax, and others).
In Santa Clara County, fentanyl is especially prevalent in fake generic pills, with such street names as “M-30s,” “M-box-30s,” “pressed blues,” “blues,” and “Oxy,” according to police. Someone who provides a substance containing fentanyl to another person that results in a person’s death can be charged with murder, prosecutors warned.