KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — It’s less than a month into the new school year and Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said his police department is finding fentanyl in the hands of teenagers yet again.

This comes as a man police arrested in the area for allegedly distributing fentanyl to a minor last year was re-arrested on similar charges this June.

The previous arrest

Back in September 2022, KXAN reported on a joint press conference with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Kyle Police Department and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office announcing the arrest of Anthony Jean Perez Rios.

Rios was arrested in San Marcos and charged with the following:

  • Manufacture and delivery with intent to distribute a controlled substance
  • Delivery of a controlled substance to a child
  • Possession of a controlled substance

“He had nearly 400 counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl,” Barnett said during the press conference.

Chief Barnett said Anthony Jean Perez Rios, 20, is from the San Marcos area.
Chief Barnett said Anthony Jean Perez Rios, 21, was from the San Marcos area.

‘Go right back into business’

That wouldn’t be his last run in with law enforcement.

“It’s disheartening that someone would distribute such a deadly pill to our community, get arrested for that and then go right back into business,” Barnett said.

According to court documents, Rios was arrested yet again this June during a traffic stop.

“He had provided fentanyl to yet another minor and he was arrested and charged with that delivery of that fentanyl to a minor that was in that same vehicle,” Barnett told KXAN.

Barnett said in the drug trade, it’s not uncommon to have repeat offenders.

“If they are able to make a quick bond, their position in the organization and the distribution ring is still there waiting for them,” he said. “Not much has changed in their life other than they had a temporary detention and arraignment, and then they’re back out.”

According to county records, Rios is currently out of jail. It’s something Barnett said is concerning, especially with students back in school.

“The overdoses that we are attending thus far already this year are high school aged children that are taking fentanyl,” he said.

Barnett said they’re hearing there is a large quantity of it available in the region. He said narcotics detectives are working those cases and making arrests.

A teenager’s insight

KXAN spoke with a Hays County teenager to get insight on what they’re seeing on social media regarding drugs.

The teenager, who wishes to remain anonymous, said it doesn’t take much to get their hands on these pills.

“It’s that easy. It’s not that hard,” they said.

They said you can get fentanyl in about an hour by just going on social media to find someone selling.

“Especially when you know what you’re looking for, it just takes a couple clicks on social media,” they said.

hays county teen wearing socks and slides
The teen is speaking from personal experience as they are currently in recovery. (Photo: KXAN)

They want to warn others about how addicting and dangerous these pills really are.

“You don’t know what you’re putting in your body. You know, it’s deadly,” they said. “You might not think it’ll happen to you, but it will, you know, it doesn’t discriminate.”

Comment from the Hays County DA

In a response sent to KXAN regarding Rios’ case, Hays County District Attorney Kelly Higgins said, “any case that recent will be in our intake division, gathering the evidence available before it’s assigned to a prosecutor for decisions.”

Higgins said at this time, he doesn’t have enough information to act upon. But, he said fentanyl cases are a priority.

“We take fentanyl cases very seriously, and where the evidence supports prosecution, we will prosecute,” Higgins said.