A Prince William County, Va., man has been charged with supplying fentanyl-laced pills to a 14-year-old boy who suffered a fatal overdose last month, authorities said.
The 15-year-old, from Woodbridge, died April 24, police said. The 14-year-old, from Dale City, died two days later. Police said both deaths appeared to involve a counterfeit form of Percocet, sometimes called “Perc30,” laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
Even in a small doses, fentanyl can be deadly.
“We’re using these two cases to drive that message,” said 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok, a Prince William police spokesman. “You could take [fentanyl] once — your first drug ever — and die from it. ... This is hitting home for us. We already have two homes impacted by it. We don’t want to see any more.”
Woods was arraigned in Prince William District Court on a narcotics distribution charge and ordered held pending a preliminary hearing Aug. 12. Court records indicate he has not entered a plea. His attorney, Jean Humbrecht, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
“The investigation ... revealed the accused was found to have sold the 14-year-old victim the illicit narcotics which contained fentanyl,” police said in a statement, although Perok said Woods has not been specifically charged in the boy’s death. “At this time, this investigation cannot be connected to the death” of the 15-year-old, the statement said.
In a search of Woods’s residence, in the 13000 block of Palm Road, police said, they found “a small quantity of suspected fentanyl-pressed counterfeit Percocet pills, marijuana, two firearms and items consistent with narcotics distribution.”
Earlier this month, three other men were charged by Prince William authorities with fentanyl distribution. In that case, police said, they seized several firearms and “over 5,000 suspected counterfeit fentanyl-laced Percocet pills” that were “known to be distributed in the area.”
Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth declined to comment on the charges against Woods, since the case is ongoing, but said fentanyl has taken a heavy toll on the county.
She said Woods would face a sentence of five to 40 years if convicted of the crime of distributing drugs. Ashworth would not say whether she might pursue additional charges against him and was unaware of any other overdoses tied to him.
Federal data released this week indicated that more Americans died in 2021 of drug overdoses than in any previous year.
Ashworth described reading police rundowns on crime each morning as “devastating” because they often contained overdose cases.
She said authorities have a special investigations unit tasked with handling fentanyl prosecutions and called the recent deaths of two teens “heartbreaking.”
“These cases illustrate how dangerous this fentanyl is,” Ashworth said. “A lot of it is coming from overseas and indistinguishable from actual Percocet pills. People need to have conversations with their kids about these drugs.”