REDDING, Calif. - A 19-year-old was arrested for selling a fentanyl pill to a 13-year-old boy which killed him, the Redding Police Department said.
The 19-year-old, Ryan Harrison, was identified as the suspect and was arrested on July 7.
On August 8, 2020, Redding Police Department and paramedics responded to the area of the 1600 block of Verda St. when they received a report of a 13-year-old boy unresponsive in his bedroom, police said.
Officers and paramedics attempted to save the 13-year-old boy’s life with life-saving measures but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Evidence gathered by the detectives showed the boy overdosed on what appeared to be an illegal drug that was obtained outside the house, police said.
The Redding Police Detective Division was assigned to the case. That's when they said they learned the boy used his phone and social media account to order a Percocet pill, a slang term for an Oxycodone pill.
The Department of Homeland Security (HSI) helped detectives gather evidence to identify a suspect.
Detectives and HSI Agents found Harrison was using a social media account to deal drugs to clients, many of who were minors, police said.
On Feb. 24, detectives served a search warrant to Harrison and his residence to gather evidence of drug sales. During the search, officials said they found over 900 Fentanyl pills, codeine syrup, cocaine and over $30,000 in cash.
Harrison was arrested for drug sales and making threats to law enforcement.
In a follow-up interview, Harrison admitted to a detective he was selling pills and marketing them as “Perc” pills when they were Fentanyl pills, police said. Investigators then when on to say he admitted he knew Fentanyl is dangerous and a small amount can kill a person.
Redding Police Department and the HSI brought the information to the Shasta County District Attorney in May.
On July 6, the Shasta County Superior Court issued an arrest warrant of Harrison for homicide, criminal threats directed at law enforcement, dealing a dangerous drug to a minor and multiple other drug-related violations.
Harrison is being held at the Shasta County Jail on a $1 million bail.
Police are contacting more people who are in possession of Fentanyl and are responding to more overdose calls, police said.
Police said most recent statistics by the California Department of Public Health show 1,603 deaths related to a Fentanyl overdose in 2019.
From May 2020 to Dec. 2020, Shasta County had seven Fentanyl deaths and 11 from Jan. 2021 to April 2021.