HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — An affidavit from Hays County provided more information about the arrest of a teen linked to a fatal fentanyl overdose of a minor.

Kyle and San Marcos police worked together to arrest Jubenal Flores Sanchez, 18, after the overdose. He does not have an attorney listed online at this time.

Beginning in August 2022, detectives with the San Marcos Police Department Narcotics Division began investigating a series of fentanyl-related overdoses, the affidavit said. The majority of the investigations involved juveniles and young adults who were identified as both the distributors of fentanyl, as well as victims of fentanyl-related overdoses.

The primary form officers found fentanyl on the streets was in the form of counterfeit Percocet or M-30 pills, the affidavit said.

Why are drug dealers targeting teens to distribute?

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said distributors are getting younger and younger.

“We are seeing young people as young as 14 to the young adult age of 18, 19 be part of the distribution ring,” Barnett said.

He said drug dealers are using teens to help distribute lethal drugs because of their connections.

“They’re classmates or former classmates, so they’re selling to a younger generation,” Barnett said. “And perhaps these are people that they knew from school, or they’ve seen from other sporting events.”

What charges is the teen distributor facing?

According to the City of Kyle, Sanchez was charged with the delivery of a controlled substance and the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. Officials said the District Attorney’s Office would decide whether additional charges would be added.

“He was linked to this death through the investigation of various social media accounts and other data obtained through a search warrant,” officials said.

According to the court records, the last victim was a 14 year old, who died Jan. 3.

Hays CISD told KXAN in January four of its students died of overdoses since the start of 2022, including the Jan. 3 death.

In 2022, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office reported a total of 37 fentanyl overdoses, 14 of which involved juveniles between 13 and 17 years old.

The student had a history of narcotics use, including marijuana, THC, cocaine and Percocet, the affidavit said. In October 2022, the 14 year old suffered a previous overdose after ingesting a portion of a Percocet pill. The overdose did require medical attention, but the student survived.

After investigators communicated with family members, they learned the 14 year old communicated with friends through Instagram, Snapchat and Telegram, court records said. Oftentimes, one account will be used for day-to-day communication, while other accounts are used for more “nefarious communication.”

Furthermore, investigators learned the student went to EVO Entertainment, 3200 Kyle Crossing, in Kyle Jan. 2, the affidavit said. Once at EVO, social media messages indicated they met with the distributor, later identified as Sanchez, to purchase narcotics, court documents said.

Jason Howell is the executive director of Recovery People, a nonprofit that advocates for addiction help resources.

Howell said arrests like these are important for curbing substance-related deaths but more support is needed to solve the issue long term.

What are police saying ahead of spring break?

With spring break around the corner, Barnett wanted to remind parents to have a plan for their teens who may be home alone.

“If they tell you, they’re going to go spend time with friends, invest the time and effort to know who those friends are,” Barnett said. “Check on them regular regular throughout the day, you know, make sure you’re making contact with them, you’re hearing back from them.”