SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Federal prosecutors charged a Pittsburg man with allegedly selling fake Oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl to a Walnut Creek man in June that led to his overdose death.
The United States Attorney’s Office charged Gage Pascoe on Tuesday with the distribution of pills containing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death. If convicted of the charge, he faces life in federal prison.READ MORE: Volunteers Spread Out Across Bay Area for Annual Coastal Cleanup
“This sad, tragic death shows how easy it is to die from drugs bought from drug dealers,” said U.S. Attorney David Anderson. “Counterfeit pills marked and sold as one drug, such as Oxycodone pills with “M30” stamps, commonly contain fentanyl instead. Even a tiny amount of fentanyl is deadly.”
The federal complaint alleges that the 22-year-old Pascoe sold counterfeit pills that appeared to be Oxycodone but instead contained the lethal drug fentanyl. The victim purchased the pills and shortly after taking the apparent Oxycodone pills at a Walnut Creek home died from an overdose of fentanyl.
Court documents reveal that Pascoe had sold drugs to the victim before. He allegedly communicated in the days before the death through a series of text messages with the victim, who he knew from attending the same high school.READ MORE: San Francisco Celebrates Rise of Lowrider Community With Car Show and Cruise
The texts, outlined in the complaint, show that Pascoe offered “more oxy” to his victim and they eventually met up in Pittsburg the night of June 16.
The next day, the victim was found dead at his Walnut Creek family home. The victim’s father found pills in the victim’s room with “M30” stamped on them, which is a common stamp on counterfeit Oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.
A lab analysis found those pills to contain fentanyl. As the complaint further describes, an analysis of the victim’s body showed he died from a fatal fentanyl overdose.
Pascoe was arrested on Saturday and made an initial appearance Tuesday in San Francisco federal court. He is currently being held in custody pending further proceedings.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Schools, Public Health Dept. Partner to Provide Campus COVID Vaccinations
Pascoe is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death or great physical injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.