LOCAL NEWS

Man accused of manslaughter after allegedly selling fentanyl that led to overdose

Feb 25, 2024, 2:48 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 10:23 am

cuffs hang on a pipe against a wall...

FILE — A man was arrested after police say fired a round that ended up going into a neighboring apartment during a fight with his girlfriend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

NIBLEY, Cache County — One man was arrested Wednesday in connection to a fentanyl overdose that killed a 37-year-old man. He was booked on suspicion of manslaughter.

According to an affidavit, authorities believe Hamud Issa Abdullahi, 36, sold the victim the drugs that led to his death.

The investigation began the night of the victim’s death on Oct. 13, 2023. The victim was discovered by first responders deceased in his bedroom. A deputy from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office wrote that the sheriff’s office was familiar with the victim, and knew that he was battling with drug addiction.

The victim’s brother told deputies that he had overheard his brother on the phone the night prior and understood the conversation to be drug-related. The victim’s brother “made a comment to his brother regarding his priorities in life,” the affidavit states.

Multiple pieces of evidence were taken from the victim’s bedroom, which included three blue pills “which had markings and appearance consistent with counterfeit oxycodone comprised of illicit fentanyl.” A field test was taken and later laboratory results confirmed the pills contained fentanyl.

After more evidence was tested and the victim’s medical examination was performed, the victim was found to have had “fatal levels of fentanyl, alprazolam, acetaminophen and zolpidem toxicity, followed by two contributing medical conditions.” The examiner made it clear that the drugs were present in high enough concentrations to cause death, according to the affidavit.

Investigators suspected Abdullahi of providing the drugs to the victim early on in the investigation, and he was called into the sheriff’s office for an interview. A search warrant was obtained for Abdullahi’s cell phone, and the affidavit alleges that based on text messages found, he had been distributing pills in quantities ranging from several pills up to 280 pills. The document states that on the night of the interview, Abdullahi had been trying to arrange to acquire 250 pills the next day.

Also found in Abdullahi’s text messages were exchanges with the victim. Two weeks before the victim’s death, the victim had asked Abdullahi about obtaining “blues,” which is a slang term for fentanyl.

On the day before his death, text messages occurred between the two revealing they had the same workplace in Logan. The messages reference a meeting they arranged in the parking lot at 6:53 p.m. According to the affidavit, Abdullahi told the victim that he was on break. Investigators obtained the surveillance footage from the facility, which shows Abdullahi exiting the building and sitting in the car with the victim for 17 minutes.

The text message conversation that occurred after the meeting involved a back-and-forth about a payment of $60. Later that evening, there were two records of phone calls between the two, one outgoing from Abdullahi and the other outgoing from the victim.

The affidavit states that during the investigators’ interview with Abdullahi, he was initially untruthful about his drug use. A warrant was approved for a urine sample from Abdullahi which returned positive for fentanyl content.

“We also discussed his knowledge of the fentanyl epidemic, which he characterized as … very bad, acknowledging harm could come to someone from just touching it,” the document alleges.

The document stated that Abdullahi denied seeing the victim the night before his death, but stated he did sell the victim four blue pills he claimed to be Xanax. Following that statement, he denied selling the victim anything at all. The affidavit states that once pressed, Abdullahi “later admitted knowing that the pills could have been fentanyl, and admitted that selling him the pills was very stupid and reckless, nodding when I asked if he had made a mistake.”

The affidavit alleges multiple other text messages that didn’t align with the initial story that Abdullahi gave the investigators.

Abdullahi was booked on charges of manslaughter, a second-degree felony; distributing a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; and obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor.

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Man accused of manslaughter after allegedly selling fentanyl that led to overdose