Federal charges have been filed against a man and a woman who are suspected of supplying the fentanyl that contributed to the death of a 15-year-old girl from Carrollton. Lizbeth Prieto, 19, and Cristian Lopez, 24, were both arrested in Carrollton on charges of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute. It’s not obvious if they’re represented by lawyers or not.
According to the police report, Lopez admitted to being the dealer who supplied Prieto with the fentanyl she subsequently sold to the minor. The girl’s death is the latest tragedy in North Texas’ ongoing fentanyl epidemic. The federal government reported that the Newman Smith High School kid was the fourth child to die from a fentanyl overdose in the region since September.
According to a criminal complaint, on June 13 Carrollton police were called to the 1900 block of Sunridge Road, where they found a girl (known only as “J.G.” in court documents) face down and unresponsive on a bed. After being transferred there, she tragically passed away at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.
According to court filings, police discovered 10 blue pills branded M30 on her dresser and determined them to be fake oxycodone. Authorities reported that fentanyl was found in the pills. Prieto allegedly tried to sell the girl 13 pills for $100, but only ended up delivering her 12. As a result, investigators believe she only took two of the pills.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Authorities charge 2 with supplying fentanyl after 15-year-old Carrollton girl’s death https://t.co/QJcduYwvOn
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) June 23, 2023
According to the complaint, an undercover detective from Carrollton contacted Prieto and arranged to meet the next day in McKinney to purchase M30 tablets. Lopez, who was being followed by authorities, reportedly frequented the location. Officers conducting pre-transactional surveillance allegedly observed Lopez’s vehicle pull up, and both Prieto and another lady enter.
The accusation alleges that Prieto met with the detective and exchanged marked cash for the drugs. According to the lawsuit, she returned to Lopez’s car following the exchange and got out of it a short distance away. The Dallas police eventually tracked down Lopez on an outstanding warrant.
The complaint states that during the search, officers located five of the six marked bills the detective had given Prieto. According to the evidence presented in court, Lopez was detained after admitting to giving Prieto fake M30 pills. The tablets the detective bought proved positive for fentanyl when examined by police.
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On June 15th, the detective contacted Prieto once again, this time to purchase additional tablets. According to the complaint, she met with the investigator in Plano and was subsequently detained on a warrant.
According to the complaint, during an interview with police, Prieto stated that Lopez had supplied her with 12 counterfeit M30 tablets, which she then sold to JG. She informed police she didn’t know the girl’s exact age but that she was a small child.
‘No kid is immune’
A number of children in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD were hospitalized and three died after what authorities believe were fentanyl poisonings during the 2016–2017 school year. District officials said some pupils overdosed on campus after taking pills laced with fentanyl.
“Four young lives, lost in an instant. Four families, heartbroken,” U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said in a written statement. “Fentanyl continues to creep its insidious way through the teenage population, and no kid is immune.”
House Bill 6 was one of several anti-fentanyl bills put into law by Governor Greg Abbott this year. It authorizes prosecutors to charge those involved in the illicit production or distribution of fentanyl with murder in cases when the drug causes death.
In a written statement, DEA Dallas field office special agent Eduardo A. Chávez emphasized the need of collaboration between government agencies and the public in preventing fentanyl-related tragedies. “This is well beyond a Carrollton problem,” Chávez said. “This is a you and me problem as it affects us all.”
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