A Redding man has been charged with murder for allegedly supplying a 13-year-old boy with a drug that killed him. On August 8th of last year the boy was found unresponsive by his parents at their home on Verda Street. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead. Redding Police found evidence of a drug overdose and detectives took over. They found the boy had used his cell phone to visit a social media account and order a single “Perc”, a reference to Percocet, a prescription pill containing Oxycodone. No trace of Percocet was found in the boy’s system, so it was determined that he had been sold a counterfeit pill containing Fentanyl, a relatively cheap narcotic that’s 100 times more potent than Morphine and is increasingly used by dealers to boost potency of other drugs and pressed into pills to look like pharmaceutical drugs.
RPD Detectives got help from Federal Homeland Security to sort through the evidence and follow the thread of Fentanyl dealers. They were led to 19-year-old Ryan Harrison of Redding, who was reportedly using a social media account to advertise and sell drugs to his customers, including many minors. On February 24th a search warrant was served at Harrison’s home on Fairmont Drive, where detectives reported finding a resistant and threatening Harrison, along with over 900 pills containing Fentanyl, Codeine syrup, Cocaine and more than $30,000. During a follow-up interview Harrison reportedly admitted to dealing pills that were blue with an “M30” stamp to look like Percocets but which actually contained Fentanyl. In May the case was sent to the DA’s Office for review and on Wednesday Harrison was booked into jail for charges including homicide. His bail is $1 Million.
Redding Police say they’re seeing more and more Fentanyl on the streets. In Shasta County there were 7 Fentanyl-related deaths between May and December of last year, and another 11 between January and April of this year.