Texas couple charged with dealing fentanyl-laced pills to middle, high school students, 3 of whom died
The Justice Department on Monday charged a Texas couple with dealing pills laced with fentanyl, which it said led to three deaths of three students, according to court documents unsealed on Monday.
Luis Eduardo Navarrete, 21, and Magaly Mejia Cano, 29 are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
They allegedly dealt fake Percocet and OxyContin pills laced with fentanyl, commonly known as "M30s," to high school-aged drug dealers to sell around R.L. Turner High School and to younger students at Dewitt Perry and Dan F. Long Middle Schools, in Carrolton, Texas, court documents said.
In just six months, 10 children overdosed, and 3 died as a result of the pills, according to the Justice Department, with the youngest victim being 13.
"To deal fentanyl is to knowingly imperil lives. To deal fentanyl to minors — naive middle and high school students — is to shatter futures," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton. "These defendants' alleged actions are simply despicable. We can never replace the three teenagers whose lives were lost, nor can we heal the psychological scars of those who survived their overdoses. But we can take action to ensure these defendants are never allowed to hand a pill to a child again."
MORE: If fentanyl is so deadly, why do drug dealers use it to lace illicit drugs?
Court documents say that Navarrete sold pills directly to students, and law enforcement actually saw Navarrete hand pills to a student drug dealer. The student admitted that he got the pills he was using in the high school bathroom from Navarrete, according to court documents.
"On multiple occasions, law enforcement members have observed Navarrete and Mejia Cano conduct hand-to-hand transactions with multiple individuals who sometimes arrive on foot and in vehicles," according to the complaint. "Many of the hand-to-hand transactions were with juvenile students of RL Turner High School."
Another student who overdosed twice, and was temporarily paralyzed by the overdose, the documents said, "stated she was familiar with Luis Navarrete and stated she had previously purchased multiple "M30" pills from Navarrete and described his address which was accurate."
Authorities said they found the M30 pills in the girl's house. They said the suspect's homes were right in between the two main schools in which they sold.
"Luis Navarrete and Magaly Mejia Cano's residence is located almost directly in between RL Turner High School and Dewitt Perry Middle School," the complaint says.
Lawyers for the pair did not respond to an ABC News request for comment.
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Texas couple charged with dealing fentanyl-laced pills to middle, high school students, 3 of whom died originally appeared on abcnews.go.com