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Fatal fentanyl overdose kills Bethesda 16-year-old, Maryland man faces charges

Officials say they believe 23-year-old Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew of Piney Branch is the individual who sold the pills to the teen.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — (Editors Note: The video above is from April 13, 2022)

A Maryland man is now facing a charge of one count of Distribution of a Narcotic in connection with a Fentanyl Overdose death that killed a 16-year-old back in January of 2022.

On Jan 17, 2022, Montgomery County Police and Rockville City Police went to the 6100 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland, when police arrived they found a 16-year-old male dead inside of the home. 

While inside the home, police found evidence that indicated that the teen may have suffered a fatal overdose with what could have been counterfeit Percocet Pills, according to police. 

Police were able to definitively say later when the Office of Chief Medical Examiner was able to determine the cause of death to be from Fentanyl Intoxication. Additionally, suspected counterfeit pills discovered in the victim’s room tested positive as Fentanyl. 

Officials say they believe 23-year-old Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew of Piney Branch is the individual who sold the pills to the teen.  

Kefyalew was arrested on April 14, 2022, and charged with one count of Distribution of a Narcotic. Additional charges may be forthcoming as this investigation continues.

Fatal Overdoses have been a big problem around our area. Just recently D.C. had to deal with seven overdoses that killed four people in the Trinidad neighborhood. 

In announcing this arrest, Montgomery County Chief of Police Marcus Jones stated that these pills add another deadly layer to the opiate crisis facing our communities.  

He explained how individuals, including young teens, take a drug they believe to have a minimal effect but end up ingesting an extremely deadly substance, Chief Jones said.

Chief Jones went on to explain how even for a first-time user, these pills can be deadly. 

Chief Jones said that "This arrest is part of my committed efforts to focus investigative resources toward those who take advantage of our community by selling and providing these deadly substances."

Jones also wanted to thank Rockville City Police department and and other partners for helping with this case. 

Additionally, Chief Victor Brito of the Rockville Police Department stated, "Thanks to the continued exemplary partnership with the Montgomery County Police Department, both Rockville and Montgomery County Detectives were able to bring about a successful conclusion to this tragic case. One life lost to opioids is too many, and it is not a problem we will solve overnight, but we will continue to work together to combat this crisis."

Kefyalew is being held at the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit, where he is awaiting a bond hearing, the bond hearing occurred on Thursday and he was held without bond.

RELATED: Police: 10 overdose deaths in 3 days from drugs laced with fentanyl

RELATED: Verify: Can a stranger be held liable for administering Naloxone to someone overdosing?

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