Teen charged with murder after girl, 12, dies from fentanyl

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FILE – This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA  (NewsNation Now) —  A 16-year-old suspected drug dealer was charged Tuesday with the murder of a 12-year-old San Jose girl who fatally overdosed on fentanyl, a press release from the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office announced.

The 16-year-old, also from San Jose, sold fentanyl to the girl in 2020. “Jane Doe,” as the victim was called in the release, was with two teens when she contacted the suspect to buy an “M-30” pill. After snorting three-quarters of one pill, Doe passed out and began snoring, which is a sign of fentanyl overdose, the district attorney’s office said.

Shortly after the girl was brought to a hospital, she was pronounced dead.

At 12 years old, Doe is the youngest person to fatally overdose in Santa Clara County in 2020, the press release said.

“After thousands of deaths, everyone should know that fentanyl is a deadly poison,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said 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.” 

Investigators found screenshots of public service warnings on fentanyl overdoses in the dealer’s Google Photos account, which predated the girl’s death.

A “major” contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S., fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

During a yearlong period ending in April 2021, the CDC said, there were more than 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. That’s a 28.5% increase from the previous year.

Signs of an overdose can include falling asleep or losing consciousness; slow, weak or no breathing; choking or gurgling sounds and cold or clammy skin.

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