The Federal authorities have apprehended Donovan Jude Andrews, a 20-year-old man from Carrollton, for allegedly enticing young buyers to purchase his product on social media after the arrests of suspected fentanyl dealers. The accused has agreed to plead guilty to federal drug charges, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and selling drugs to someone under 21. The court documents filed last week show that Andrews could face a prison term ranging from five to 40 years and a fine for each of the charges.
The lawyer representing Andrews and a spokesperson from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas refused to comment on the matter. The Department of Justice is yet to make a statement regarding the plea agreement until it is officially approved by the judge.
According to court documents, Andrews allegedly sold fentanyl-laced pills to teens through social media, well aware of the numerous overdoses and deaths linked to similar fake pills in North Texas. He commented on an Instagram post that announced the arrests of Luis Eduardo Navarrete and Magaly Mejia Cano, jailed in connection with a series of overdoses among Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD students, saying that their arrest had diverted law enforcement’s attention. Andrews then proceeded to advertise that he was selling pills for $10 each through his account.
Authorities identified Andrews through a urine sample he posted, revealing his name and birthday. The criminal complaint states that a 14-year-old girl, who had suffered a suspected fentanyl overdose, had purchased five pills from the social media account linked to Andrews. The authorities were able to trace the purchase, and home surveillance footage showed Andrews dropping the pills into the girl’s mailbox after she paid via a money transfer app. An 18-year-old student from Hebron High School also admitted to buying pills from the same social media handle and receiving them at work. Law enforcement officials confirmed that Andrews sold the drugs outside his home as well.
During a police stop in early March, Andrews was in the passenger seat of a vehicle, and officers discovered a plastic bag of pills concealed in his sock. The driver, a 17-year-old Hebron High School student, revealed that he drove Andrews around for one or two pills per day.
Andrews was one of five people arrested in a series of suspected fentanyl drug busts. In February, Navarrete and Mejia Cano were arrested and charged in connection with distributing fentanyl-laced pills that caused the deaths of three CFB-ISD students and hospitalized six others. Jason Xavier Villanueva, whom the authorities have described as the main source of the synthetic opioid in the overdose cases, was later apprehended, and all three have since been indicted.
In another similar case, Stephen Paul Brinson, an 18-year-old, agreed to plead guilty to a federal drug charge last month, accused of supplying fentanyl linked to at least one juvenile overdose.
The increasing use of social media platforms to sell drugs to young people has been a growing concern for the authorities. As the pandemic has forced people to stay indoors, social media has become a means of communication for many. The authorities have been working towards cracking down on drug dealers, especially those who target vulnerable groups, and have urged parents to keep an eye on their children’s online activities. The use of fentanyl-laced pills has been a significant concern as they have led to numerous deaths and overdoses across the country.