Ardmore man linked to overdose death of 19-year-old, charged with manslaughter
An Ardmore man has reportedly been linked to the death of a 19-year-old Lone Grove resident, and is facing a charge for first-degree manslaughter.
According to Carter County court documents, deputies brought 23-year-old Andrew Robert Waltz in for questioning after the 19-year-old passed away from an overdose at her Lone Grove residence in April, 2020.
During an interview, Waltz reportedly admitted that he had bought fentanyl-laced pills and gave some of them to the victim. Waltz reportedly told authorities that when he woke up the next morning the 19-year-old was unresponsive.
Deputies and an agent with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics investigated the matter further and reportedly found that Waltz had stated “that the fentanyl-laced pills went from his hand to her hand,” referring to the victim, during a phone call.
Court records state that the victim’s use of the pills directly resulted in an overdose that caused her death. Deputies filed a probable cause warrant for Waltz’s arrest this week, and he was reportedly taken into custody on the morning of Oct. 23, according to Carter County Sheriff booking reports.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has reported a recent rise in overdoses linked to fake prescription pills. OBN launched a state-wide investigation into the fake pills after eight people died of overdoses from counterfeit Oxycodone that tested positive for fentanyl earlier this year.
According to OBN, fentanyl is a powerful and cheap drug that can be 100 to 1,000 times more potent than morphine or heroin. Drug organizations will often purchase fentanyl to use as a cutting agent in heroin or to press the powder into pills that resemble prescription pills.
As a participating member of the Anti-Heroin and Opioid Statewide Task Force, the Carter County Sheriff’s Office has also been working with OBN and the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad to pursue and prosecute those involved.
Most of the pills have been blue in color and stamped to look like 30 mg Oxycodone. According to Carter County court records, Waltz was previously convicted for unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute in January, 2020.
If found guilty of first-degree manslaughter, Waltz faces imprisonment for no less than four years.