LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A 20-year-old woman faces a second-degree murder charge in the drug overdose death of a young man earlier this year, court records obtained by the I-Team said.
Joshua Gallegos, 24, was found unresponsive on Feb. 14 at an apartment on East Serene Avenue near Las Vegas Boulevard and Pebble Road, police said. Emergency crews were unable to revive Gallegos who was pronounced dead from a suspected drug overdose.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Gallegos died from a combination of drugs, including fentanyl, in his system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50-to-100 times more potent than morphine. Just a few grains of fentanyl can kill a human being.
A friend later told investigators Gallegos had purchased what he believed to be an oxycodone pill from a woman named Orianna Cervantes, 22, the day before he died, police said. Gallegos bought four pills from Cervantes near her apartment complex on Hacienda Avenue near Fort Apache Road and Tropicana Avenue, police said.
Gallegos then consumed two of the pills, a friend told police, investigators wrote in court documents. A friend also told police Gallegos had recently been charged with a DUI and had been in a car accident, which prompted him to drink alcohol and seek pain medication, police said.
Court records show Gallegos was charged with DUI and failure to stop at the scene of an accident on Jan. 15.
Oxycodone pills sold on the street are often not the actual medical grade pills, but pressed pills with mixed substances, including illicit fentanyl.
As part of their investigation, Metro police said an undercover detective bought cocaine and oxycodone from Cervantes about a month later. What Cervantes was selling as oxycodone were pressed pills containing fentanyl, police said.
After a second buy, police obtained a search warrant to enter Cervantes’ apartment. There, they said they found a variety of drugs, including, methamphetamine, cocaine, mushrooms, and pills.
After the search, police took Cervantes into custody on several drug-related charges. They also seized her iPhone.
Investigators later learned Gallegos paid Cervantes $100 through an online transaction. Police said Cervantes’ search history after Gallegos’ death included the terms “Joshua Gallegos obituary.” After Gallegos’ death, investigators said Cervantes continued to sell fentanyl, including to an undercover detective.
Cervantes was released on $100,000 bail and was due in court next month. She has no previous criminal record, police said.
Last week in an unrelated case, Metro police announced the arrest of Joshua Roberts, 22, in connection with the fentanyl-overdose death of 17-year-old Mia Gugino. Roberts is accused of providing Gugino, a Centennial High School graduate, with a pill containing the illicit drug earlier this year in February, killing her, police said.