Fentanyl overdoses involve pressed pills sold across valley, police, DEA say
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A 27-year-old Las Vegas man was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly providing the fentanyl pills that led to another man’s overdose death last year, police said.
Jacob Mathis, 27, was discovered deceased inside an apartment near Silverado Ranch Boulevard and Bermuda Road on April 3, 2021, police said. A maintenance worker had entered the apartment regarding a water leak.
The unit was flooded from water coming from a bathroom, police said. The maintenance worker found Mathis’ body on the floor. Officers immediately suspected he had overdosed due to evidence at the scene.
During the examination of Mathis’ body, the coroner located four suspected fentanyl pills inside Mathis’ wallet. As the 8 News Now I-Team has reported, the pills circulating in the Las Vegas valley, which contain fentanyl, are marked with the letter “M” and the number “30.”
Drug cartels are manufacturing illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50-to-100 times more potent than morphine, and combining it with other street drugs, the 8 News Now I-Team has reported.
As part of their investigation, officers searched Mathis’ phone, finding text messages between Mathis and a person named “Tim,” they said. “Tim” was later identified as Timothy McCracken, police said.
A conversation on Mathis’ phone included a text string with “Tim” the day before and morning of the day he died, police said. The conversation included a discussion about purchasing “his illegal narcotics,” police said.
The two men discussed the purchase of the pills and leaving them in the gas cap of Mathis’ car, police said. An analysis of the pills determined at least one pill contained acetaminophen, a pain killer, and fentanyl.
The coroner’s office later determined Mathis died from fentanyl and two other compounds.
On April 7 of this year, police began to surveil McCracken at a home near Bermuda and Pebble roads. Officers watched McCracken leave the home in a car and they pulled him over.
While speaking with investigators, McCracken said he learned of Mathis’ death on Facebook.
“McCracken also said he had physically seen and talked to Jacob the day before his passing,” police said, adding he had reached out to a person on Snapchat about buying 10 pills for both him and Mathis.
McCracken told police he met an unknown man at some point and bought the pills from him. McCracken then returned home and gave six of the pills to Mathis, police said, leaving six in his gas cap.
“McCracken said he did not talk to Jacob after he picked up his six [pills],” police said. “McCracken said he believed Jacob’s death occurred from the [pills]…laced with fentanyl.”
In court last week Judge Daniel Westmeyer set bail at $50,000. McCracken remained at the Clark County Detention Center as of Wednesday.