SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A suspected drug dealer was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder after a 12-year-old San Jose girl fatally overdosed on fentanyl, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The girl, identified by prosecutors only as “Jane Doe,” was the youngest person in the county to die from an overdose in 2020.
The accused drug dealer is a 16-year-old San Jose boy. His name was not released by prosecutors because he is a minor.
“If you provide a substance containing fentanyl to someone and that person dies as a result, you can be charged with murder,” prosecutors said.
“After thousands of deaths, everyone should know that fentanyl is a deadly poison,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “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.”
Jane Doe died on Nov. 14, 2020. Earlier that day, she contacted the alleged drug dealer and bought a “M-30” pill. Her teenaged friends shot a video of Jane Doe lining up one of the crushed pills.
The girl snorted powder from three-quarters of a single pill.
“After snorting the fentanyl, she passed out and began snoring, a telltale sign of a fentanyl overdose. Shortly after they brought her to the Regional Medical Center in San Jose, she was declared dead,” prosecutors said.
Investigators said the boy’s Google Photos account contained screen shots of public service warnings over fentanyl overdoses. The public service warnings predated the girl’s death, investigators said.
The boy was arrested by San Jose Police Department officers Tuesday and he was booked into a juvenile detention center.
“This is the second time the Santa Clara County DA’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 in 2020,” prosecutors said.
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.”
“Fentanyl is deadly. Please talk to your young ones about the dangers of this drug,” the San Jose Police Department wrote.
If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids, you can find resources on the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Substance Use Treatment Services webpage.