By Josh Copitch
SAN JOSE, California (KSBW) — Three people have been charged for their involvement in the distribution of fentanyl to teenagers in Monterey County, the Department of Justice reported on Monday. At least one 15-year-old Pacific Grove resident died from the drug.
Benjamin Reily Bliss, 18, of Carmel, Louis “Lulu” Alexander, 19, and Brandon William Carranza-Arthur, 19, both of Monterey, are accused of playing a role in distributing drugs to high school students in Monterey County, the DOJ said.
According to the criminal complaints, the investigation into drug distribution to high schoolers in the area began as early as October 2021 but took a turn after a 15-year-old Pacific Grove resident suffered a fatal overdose in early March 2022.
Bliss is accused of driving a second unnamed teen with a ride to San Francisco so he could purchase a bag of fentanyl. The second victim overdosed but survived on March 23.
Alexander is accused of using Snapchat to advertise, offer and sell fentanyl-based counterfeit pills to high school students. In October 2021, one of the juveniles he is believed to have supplied suffered a non-fatal overdose.
The complaint filed against Carranza alleges he told students how a student should take counterfeit prescription drugs. He also helped a juvenile obtain drugs.
Carranza and Alexander are next scheduled to appear on Tuesday before Magistrate Judge Cousins. Bliss is making his initial federal court appearance on Monday.
Bliss faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison. Alexander and Carranza face a maximum term of four years in prison
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