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Prosecutors charge teen in overdose death of 12-year-old girl

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- California prosecutors said they have charged a teenager with murder for selling a fentanyl-laced pill to a 12-year-old girl who died from an overdose.

The Santa Clara County district attorney's office said in a statement Tuesday that the girl was the youngest person to die from an overdose in 2020.

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Prosecutors said she died shortly after ingesting three-quarters of a pill laced with fentanyl, a synthetic drug that is between 50 and 100 more times toxic than morphine.

According to authorities, she was with two other teens Nov. 14, 2020, when she contacted the suspect and bought a pill with "M-30" on it, which is the hallmark of an Oxycodone tablet.

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The group then recorded her lining up the crushed pill, and after snorting it she passed out and began snoring, which prosecutors said "is a telltale sign of a fentanyl overdoes."

She was then transported to the San Jose's Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

"After thousands of deaths, everyone should know that fentanyl is a deadly poison," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

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A 16-year-old from San Jose was charged Tuesday with selling the girl identified as Jane Doe the pill.

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Fentanyl is occasionally pressed into the shape and design of known prescription pills, such as Oxycodone, which the district attorney's office said is "especially prevalent" in Santa Clara County.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were nearly 92,000 deaths from overdoses in the United States in 2020, up from 70,630 a year prior.

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In 2020, there were 56,516 synthetic-induced overdose deaths with fentanyl being the primary drug involved, it said.

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