Marin Independent Journal

Feds charge man in fentanyl death

- By Robert Salonga

A San Jose man was jailed on a federal drug charge after the FBI alleged he sold pills secretly laced with fentanyl to an unsuspecti­ng bar patron in Fremont, who died minutes after taking the drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Northern California announced that Ian Edward Parrish, 28, has been charged with one felony count of illegally distributi­ng fentanyl. He made his initial court appearance in an Oakland courtroom Thursday and was remanded to federal jail custody by Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore, according to court records.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on the charge filed against Parrish is 20 years in prison and fine of $250,000. He is next scheduled to appear in court March 21.

According to an FBI investigat­ion underpinni­ng the criminal charge, Parrish was at a Fremont bar Aug. 16 when he approached the reported victim, a 46-yearold man from Cambridge, Ohio, and offered to get him drugs.

Parrish showed them a clear plastic baggie, which he told the Ohio man and his friend contained Adderall pills and Percocet pills he referred to as “Perc 30s,” the FBI stated in an affidavit accompanyi­ng the criminal complaint.

During the exchange, the victim “asked several times” about the legitimacy of the Percocet pills, “as he feared counterfei­t pills that may contain fentanyl,” and Parrish reportedly reassured him that the pills were authentic.

The victim's friend reportedly told the FBI that “Parrish never mentioned that the pills may contain fentanyl.”

Eventually, the Ohio man agreed to buy what he believed were two Percocet pills and two Adderall. The FBI stated that man is believed to have then gone to his car in the adjacent parking lot to crush and snort some of the pills, and that Parrish left the bar.

No more than 15 minutes after the sale, the Ohio man walked back into the bar and was turning white, according to the friend's retelling to the FBI. The victim appeared to fade out of consciousn­ess, and fell to the ground, prompting several onlookers to dial 911 and report that the man had passed out and was not breathing.

Fremont police and city and Alameda County firefighte­rs and paramedics responded to the call and found the man lying on the floor toward the back of the bar, according to the affidavit. They performed CPR and other lifesaving measures, but the man was pronounced dead at 6:43 p.m.

After learning about the pill sale from the victim's friend, Fremont police searched the victim's vehicle and recovered one of the purported Percocet pills and the two Adderall pills, indicating that the victim consumed one of the pills he believed to be Percocet.

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