Sports

Former Angels Employee Charged in Pitcher’s Overdose Death

A former worker of the Los Angeles Angels was charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in reference to the deadly overdose of Tyler Skaggs, a pitcher for the workforce, federal prosecutors introduced on Friday.

The former worker, Eric Prescott Kay, who labored because the workforce’s communications director, surrendered himself in Fort Worth and appeared earlier than a choose Friday morning, based on courtroom data. Mr. Kay, 45, was launched on bond.

“No one is immune from the deadly addictive nature of these drugs,” Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. legal professional for the Northern District of Texas, stated at a information convention Friday morning.

“Suppressing the spread of fentanyl — and preventing tragedies like Tyler Skaggs’s and the thousands of other Americans who die every year from fentanyl overdoses — is a priority of the Department of Justice,” she added.

In July 2019, Mr. Skaggs, 27, was found dead in a lodge room on the Hilton Dallas Southlake Town Square Hotel simply earlier than his workforce was scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. An autopsy report launched a month later revealed that Mr. Skaggs had fentanyl and oxycodone in his system on the time of his loss of life.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office later decided that Mr. Skaggs wouldn’t have died had he not consumed fentanyl, prosecutors stated in a statement on Friday.

“The family is deeply heartbroken to learn that Tyler would be alive today were it not for a pill containing fentanyl that was provided by the director of communications of the Angels,” Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Mr. Skaggs’s household, stated in a press release on Friday.

Michael Molfetta and Reagan Wynn, legal professionals for Mr. Kay, stated in a press release on Friday that what occurred to Mr. Skaggs was a tragedy, and that “addiction is a debilitating and destructive disease.”

“Today, our client, Eric Kay, willingly traveled to Texas from California to surrender himself,” they wrote. “Now he will patiently wait for his opportunity to make his story known.”

Fentanyl is an artificial opioid that’s 50 to 100 instances stronger than morphine, Ms. Nealy Cox stated. While a smaller portion is used for medical settings, the overwhelming majority of fentanyl is illegally produced.

Many who overdose on fentanyl don’t even know they took it, as a result of sellers will typically produce counterfeit medication utilizing fentanyl after which stamp on the producer’s markings to make it appear like they’re prescription drugs, like oxycodone, a prescription ache killer, Ms. Nealy Cox stated.

A criminal complaint filed on July 30 however unsealed on Friday reveals that investigators discovered a number of capsules and white residue in Mr. Skaggs’s lodge room. An evaluation later discovered that each a single blue tablet that intently resembled a 30-milligram oxycodone pill and the white residue contained fentanyl.

Five pink capsules additionally discovered had been decided to be legitimately manufactured five-milligram oxycodone capsules that didn’t comprise fentanyl. Several white capsules had been later discovered to be anti-inflammatories, based on the criticism.

In an preliminary interview with legislation enforcement, Mr. Kay stated the final time he had seen Mr. Skaggs was once they checked into the lodge on June 30, 2019. He can also be stated to have denied realizing whether or not Mr. Skaggs used medication.

Mr. Skaggs requested Mr. Kay to cease by his room and presumably mentioned bringing capsules later that night, a search of Mr. Skaggs’s cellphone revealed, the criticism stated.

Mr. Kay had additionally allegedly advised somebody that he had visited Mr. Skaggs’s room on the night time he died, opposite to what Mr. Kay initially advised legislation enforcement, the criticism stated.

The Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that Mr. Kay had allegedly dealt the blue capsules — variously known as “blues” or “blue boys” — to Mr. Skaggs a number of instances and to others. Several individuals who knew Mr. Kay and Mr. Skaggs allege that Mr. Kay offered 30-milligram oxycodone capsules to Mr. Skaggs and others, the criticism stated.

A former federal prosecutor carried out an impartial investigation for the Angels, the workforce introduced on Friday.

“We learned that there was unacceptable behavior inconsistent with our code of conduct, and we took steps to address it,” the Angels stated in a statement. “Our investigation also confirmed that no one in management was aware, or informed, of any employee providing opioids to any player, nor that Tyler was using opioids.”

Mr. Skaggs’s household urged the Angels to make public the report from their investigation, based on Mr. Hardin’s assertion.

“We are relieved that no one else who was supplied drugs by this Angels executive met the same fate as Tyler,” the household’s lawyer stated. “While nothing will replace the loss of Tyler, we are very grateful to federal prosecutors for their diligent and ongoing work.”

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